Perdue Turns Her Back on North Carolina’s Children
Gov. Beverly Perdue today announced she will veto a $20.2 billion budget adjustment that invests in many key priorities after state lawmakers refused several unreasonable demands to hike taxes by nearly a billion dollars, raid critical dollars for Medicaid, or create a massive revenue shortfall for the next governor and General Assembly to address.
Below is a joint statement from Senate President Pro Tempore Phil Berger (R-Rockingham) and House Speaker Thom Tillis (R-Mecklenburg):
“Gov. Perdue uses apocalyptic language to explain her veto, and yet the difference between the dollars she demanded and what we budgeted is a fraction of one percent of the total budget. The fact that she would reject hundreds of millions in additional state funding for public schools and Medicaid, a cut to the state gas tax and a raise for teachers and state employees proves she’s more interested in winning a political battle than in doing what’s right. She turned her back on North Carolina’s children today, and we are working to secure the votes necessary to override this irresponsible veto.”
If there are not enough votes to override the veto in the House, the two-year budget enacted last year will remain in place. The consequences of Perdue’s veto will be:
- $255 million in additional state funds will not go to public K-12 education. This includes $126.9 million to fill in the discretionary cut for the 2012-2013 fiscal year, $16.4 million in lottery funds, a $27 million education reform program to strengthen student literacy and improve graduation rates, and $85 million for a 1.2 percent raise for public school teachers.
- In addition to public school teachers, state employees will lose a 1.2 percent raise. This will be the fifth consecutive year they go without a salary increase. State retirees will lose a 1 percent cost of living adjustment increase.
- The state’s Medicaid program will run out of money during the fiscal year, causing doctors to go unpaid and patient care to suffer.
- Programs for needy families and the state’s at-risk population will not receive $900 million in federal block grants.
- The state’s gas tax will not be cut.
- North Carolina’s college students will lose $18.6 million in additional money for need-based scholarships and financial aid.
- Regional Economic Development Commissions will not receive the additional $1.3 million they need to continue to recruit new employers to North Carolina.
- More than a dozen state programs under continuation review – including UNC-TV and family courts – will not have their funding restored and will be eliminated.
- The Division of Employment Security will lose the ability to transfer $20 million to operate offices around the state, creating greater hardships for the unemployed.
- Tens of millions of dollars in mortgage settlement and Tennessee Valley Authority settlement funds will be left unspent.
- Dozens of state buildings, representing hundreds of millions of dollars in infrastructure investment, will either be closed or unable to open, including libraries, research facilities, and hospitals.