...House members want a budget that boosts spending a modest 5 percent, too modest, really, given the toll the Great Recession took on public agencies, services and employees. But the Senate, led by Phil Berger, Tom Apodaca and Bob Rucho, wants only a 2.7 percent increase in the name of more tax cuts for the wealthy and businesses and cuts in valuable programs like historic tax credits and incentives for what’s sure to become a vanishing film industry.
House members see this trio as bullies, and they’re right. Senators talk down to the House, dismissing the lower chamber’s budget ideas and in particular the House’s belief that teacher assistants are vital to the quality of public education delivered in early grades. In the Senate budget, thousands of assistants would lose their jobs because of a plan to reduce class size and hire more regular teachers. In fact, assistants should be retained and more teachers should be hired, both of which would be possible with a $445 million budget surplus. But Senate leaders who have shown little support for public education since taking charge apparently couldn’t care less.
That there would be a second delay is ridiculous and shows that even after five years in power Republicans are amateurs at drawing a budget. They are embarrassing themselves and the state.
Friday, August 14, 2015
NC leaders bungle the state budget | News & Observer: