Monday, September 23, 2019

Legislators Go Home Leaving Teachers in the Lurch Legislative Republicans take vacation from session without passing teacher pay raises, Medicaid expansion or negotiating a budget compromise

<p>Legislative Republicans headed home last week without passing a budget or teacher pay raises and don&rsquo;t plan to return until September 30th.</p>
Sep 23, 2019

Legislative Republicans headed home last week without passing a budget or teacher pay raises and don’t plan to return until September 30th. Since June, Republican leaders have refused to negotiate a budget compromise, instead resorting to bribes, petty threats and outright lies to force ahead a budget that falls short on education funding and health care in favor of more corporate tax breaks.

“Republican leaders have made it clear that they prefer lies and bribes instead of compromise, and now they’ve left Raleigh without giving teachers a raise. North Carolina teachers deserve competitive pay raises and legislators should return to Raleigh, do their jobs and respond to my reasonable budget compromise offer,” said Governor Roy Cooper.

After refusing to negotiate or make a counteroffer to Governor Cooper’s compromise proposal, House Republicans forced through their budget by lying to House Democrats about when voting sessions would be held.

After GOP Rules Chair David Lewis, the chamber’s presiding officer at the time, told Democratic Leader Darren Jackson that no votes would be held the following morning, Speaker Tim Moore secretly gathered House Republicans on the morning of September 11th to pass the GOP budget. Amazingly, the Speaker then blamed the Democrats for “not showing up for work” even though he has now left Raleigh without a teacher pay raise or a budget compromise in place.

Until a budget is passed, North Carolina teachers are working without pay raises or annual step increases in salary. Legislative Republicans’ budget would give teachers an unacceptable 3.8% raise that is less than other state employees would receive and would make North Carolina less competitive with other states. Governor Cooper’s compromise proposed an 8.5% average teacher pay raise.

Governor Cooper’s compromise offer can be found HERE. It would close the health care coverage gap, raise teacher pay, cut taxes for people and guarantee school construction while balancing the budget and saving money in the Rainy Day Fund.

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