Governor Roy Cooper's spokesman Ford Porter released the following statement on this week's legislative session:
"Public officials are elected to do the hard work of governing and find compromises, but Republican leaders are refusing to negotiate a teacher pay raise and saying that they are not going to pass any budget at all this year. This shows the outrageous lengths legislative leaders will go to avoid negotiating with the Governor, and it's time for them to end their partisan obstruction."
Last fall, the Governor offered repeated budget compromise proposals that would do more to raise teacher pay and fund new school construction. And while the Republicans passed mini budgets, the Governor offered to negotiate teacher pay separately from other issues. Each time Republican leaders refused.
Instead Republicans have demanded a spending plan that prioritizes more corporate tax cuts while shortchanging teacher pay and funding for new school construction and cutting resources for healthcare and clean air and water protections.
The Governor's initial budget called for a 9.1% average raise for teachers and he offered a compromise proposal with an 8.5% raise over two years. Legislative Republicans' budget included a paltry 3.8% increase, or 1.9% per year. The Governor's compromise proposal also provides more for non-certified school personnel and retirees.
Legislators also failed to fully fund the Children of Wartime Veterans Scholarship program, leaving students in the lurch at the end of the semester. Governor Cooper directed DMVA to use funds budgeted for the spring semester to ensure that scholarship recipients were not impacted in December. However, legislators must provide $2.4 million to prevent a similar shortfall this spring.
- Contact: Ford Porter