Raleigh – It was summer vacation when Governor Cooper offered his compromise proposal. Now, more than a month later, teachers and students are headed back to school and Republicans have done nothing to move the budget forward. No budget override vote. No counter-offer. Nothing but delay-tactics and stalling. And all the while, the compromise proposal is sitting on their desks waiting for action.
Unlike the Republican budget, Governor Cooper’s compromise proposal puts public education first with an 8.5% teacher pay raise, guaranteed school construction funding, and Medicaid expansion which would help keep students and school employees healthy and doing their best work. Still, Republicans refuse to negotiate in good faith – choosing instead to circumvent the will of the voters by refusing to let lawmakers do their jobs and to avoid compromise with piecemeal budget bills that are nothing more than political games.
“Republican lawmakers have had more than two dozen opportunities to vote on the budget override and have failed for 50 days to respond to the Governor’s compromise proposal,” NCDP Chair Wayne Goodwin said. “Instead, they continue to delay in the hopes of passing a budget that once again underfunds public education, costing taxpayers over a million dollars in the process. North Carolina’s teachers are being left without guaranteed school construction funding and the raises they deserve. The ball is in Republicans’ court – it’s time they do their job to ensure our educators get the support they need.”