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Debate continues on education funding

Last Thursday, the North Carolina Legislature approved the final Republican-penned state government budget for next year. The proposed budget, which is currently being reviewed by Gov. Bev Perdue, doesn't call for an increase in taxes, but fails to fund public school to the extent for which Gov. Beverly Perdue and fellow Democrats have rallied.

Both the House and Senate held individual sessions to address their concerns on the budget, and after separate debates, members agreed and voted — 71-41 House vote and 30-15 Senate vote — for a $20.2 billion spending plan, which calls for adjustments to the second year of the two-year budget previously approved in 2011. The proposed budget can remain stagnant on Gov. Perdue's desk for up to 10 days, during which time she can decide whether to veto the bill, sign it or let it become law without her signature.


Bill makes its way past committee for the first time.

The initiative for ‘raising the age’ of juvenile jurisdiction in North Carolina is gaining steam as lawmakers in Raleigh have come out in support of it this legislative session. Currently, any person 16 years of age or older who commits a crime of any kind is charged as an adult in North Carolina courts—a nearly 100-year-old policy that has become the subject of national contention.

On June 20, House Judiciary Subcommittee A unanimously voted to approve a bipartisan- supported bill that would change the age at which adolescents are tried as adults.

Currently, North Carolina is one of only two states which automatically prosecutes all 16- and 17-yearolds as adults for any type of crime.


‘Fixes’ Medicaid and cuts gas tax

N.C. Sen. Jim Davis sent in the following statement which originated from the offices of Senate Pro Tempore Phil Berger and Speaker of the House Thom Tillis, following the approval of the North Carolina state budget. The budget now goes to Gov. Beverly Perdue for approval or veto.

State lawmakers reached a $20.18 billion budget agreement Wednesday morning. The agreement makes adjustments to the state’s current biennial budget which filled a $2.5 billion deficit Republicans inherited from previous leadership, reduced government spending by nearly $1 billion and enacted a $50,000 income tax cut for job-creating businesses.


The House and Senate approved a budget Thursday that keeps North Carolina moving backwards. A year after losing 6,000 public school educators – including 3,000 teachers and teacher assistants – this budget leaves schools with $190 million less than they had last year. The total reduction to funding for K-12 education over two years will reach $650 million. Financial aid for UNC system students has been cut by $22 million.

The budget also continues the attack on women’s health by defunding cancer screenings and health services provided to women by Planned Parenthood. Cuts to programs for victims of rape and domestic violence remain in place. There are many problems with this budget and despite the good news that state employees and teachers are getting badly needed pay raises, I did not vote to support it because of the overwhelming number of bad items and its overall damage to education.


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