Editorial: Legislators - Drop hyper-partisanship and pass agenda NC wants and needs

Posted January 25
Updated January 31

General Assembly opens 2017 session

A CBC Editorial: Wednesday, Jan. 25, 2017; Editorial# 8115
The following is the opinion of Capitol Broadcasting Company

It’s been two weeks since the General Assembly opened its 2017 legislative session. There have been no bills filed and none passed. The two-week interlude between the ceremonial opening has provided time for the legislative leaders to organize committees and formalize procedures.

While it wouldn’t be prudent, neither would it be a surprise if the GOP-dominated legislature ignored whatever Democratic Gov. Roy Cooper might submit and started on its own crafting a budget and developing programs.

There are some important issues, strongly supported by a majority of North Carolinians, that are critical to the well-being of the state. They need to be considered and acted upon by the legislature this session.

We believe the General Assembly should:

  • Expand Medicaid to provide health care to 500,000 uninsured North Carolinians. It is the right thing to do, the federal government is committed to paying 90 percent of the costs. It will create thousands of jobs, help keep rural hospitals open and inject about $3 billion into the North Carolina economy.
  • Repeal House Bill 2. This is an ideological luxury North Carolina cannot afford and it hurts our state. Charlotte has repealed its ordinance. Bring it to a simple up-or-down vote in the Senate and House and be done with it.
  • Pay teachers and principals more. Develop the proposal openly, with hearings and public committee meetings and don’t hide it in the budget and spring it on the public in the closing moments of the legislative session. North Carolina teacher pay, NOT INCLUDING LOCAL SUPPLEMENTS, should be at least at the national average. Our teachers and students deserve nothing less.
  • Expand pre-K education statewide.
  • Reestablish the Teaching Fellows Program. Repairing the pipeline to encourage the most promising students to become teachers is critical to providing a quality education for our students – and a key component to making North Carolina competitive for economic development.
  • Require accountability and transparency for the operation of charter schools and in the private school voucher program. Charter schools and private schools that receive voucher funds should disclose business operation details and salaries of faculty and administrators – along with student performance data.
  • Enact non-partisan congressional and legislative redistricting to bring gerrymandering to an end. While a 4th Circuit Court of Appeals order may be on hold, other active cases making their way in the courts could force the state’s hand. The legislature should seize the opportunity on its own to create a redistricting commission that would take objective criteria that meets federal voting requirements to give all North Carolinians fair representation in the U.S. House of Representative and General Assembly.
  • Embrace the expansion of renewable energy – including solar, wind and alternative fuels – to provide appropriate support to one of the state’s fastest expanding economic sectors. Reviving the state’s renewable energy development tax credits would help continue the momentum of an industry that created 34,000 jobs last year and generated $6.4 billion in revenue.
  • Conduct business in a more open and deliberate manner. Legislating by sneak attack, holding nearly every significant initiative in secret and packing it all into a budget bill considered in the closing hours of the legislative session is unjust.

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  • Bill O'Conner Jan 25, 2017
    user avatar

    "Legislators - Drop hyper-partisanship"

    That actually made me laugh. If anyone is promoting hyper-partisanship it's WRAL's daily GOP bashing editorials.

    Don't get me wrong. I grew up with WRAL. I love the Big 5. That's why it's so disturbing to see this station, CBC and ultimately Jim Goodmon become derailed by these extreme leftist partisans running their news operations.

  • Wayne Smith Jan 25, 2017
    user avatar

    My take on this would be that a majority of legislators are from the Republican Party, and Governor Cooper was back-doored by Rev. Barber in Durham county voting. That would then be: you are for the Republican agenda. NC does not want anything to do with a progressive liberal agenda. Enact the conservative agenda for which the voters, voted. This is evidenced by the overwhelming majority of GOP Seats in the House and Senate.

  • Teddy Fowler Jan 25, 2017
    user avatar

    Who made you God? Most of us would disagree with your list

  • Buster Brown Jan 25, 2017
    user avatar

    Editorial scribblers need to heed the old axiom--be careful what you ask for- -you just might get it. "Policies the people want"--the people pretty clearly stated which policies they wanted in the last two state election. I havent heard of any major changes being sought in most of the significant programs or policies currently in place. I have heard a lot of bleating and weeping , wailing and gnashing of teeth from the liberal/leftist/ socialist crowd supported by the left wing lame stream media. The left might as well suck it up and learn that the leftist socialist agenda ain't gonna fly in NC .

  • Chris Perdue Jan 25, 2017
    user avatar

    View quoted thread

    And if you income is NC is $16,600, you can get a high deductible health insurance plan for $0 premium or a really good plan for less than $50/month. Also, children under 19 at this income will be eligible for Medicaid already in NC. If not, a person with one child at the same income can get a really good insurance plan for less than $30/month for parent and child.

  • Paul Gemborys Jr Jan 25, 2017
    user avatar

    Legislators: Drop the coservative policies and pass a liberal progresive agenda that the NC left wants and needs

  • Richard Bunce Jan 25, 2017
    user avatar

    WRAL must have missed the most recent NC Legislature election. The Republican Party maintained their majority. They made campaign promises to continue with their Conservative agenda to the people that ended up voting for them. Why would they want to implement the Democratic Party agenda? Your agenda will have to wait until there is a Democratic Party majority in the NC Legislature.

  • Aerin Gunn Jan 25, 2017
    user avatar

    View quoted thread

    Do you know what gerrymandering is? Did you know the Federal Government thinks racial gerrymandering is so bad in this state that it has ordered a redrawing of districts? Did you know North Carolina is looked upon as the one of the most egregiously racially gerrymandered states in the union?

    If you understand gerrymandering, you will understand that your statement is tenuous, at best.

  • Kenneth Jones Jan 25, 2017
    user avatar

    WRAL: Stop hyper-partisanship reporting. It's not your responsibility to push the liberal agenda, but to report the news fair and balanced...

  • Ken Ackerman Jan 25, 2017
    user avatar

    View quoted thread

    Don't always assume the worst about 500,000 people. People that work jobs in retail and fast food often get no benefits from their employers. Employers that work full-timers 32 hours per week to ensure no overtime. So at $10/hr x 32 hrs/wk x 52 wks/yr = $16,640/yr. A cheap place to live will cost $150/wk down to $8840/yr (-$1190/yr for FICA), down to $6610/yr.
    Then there's 52 weeks of groceries, 52 weeks of transportation, 52 weeks of utilities and so on. All of that assumes there's no children.

    Often these same people work 2 or 3 jobs which can be very difficult to juggle, I know, I was there at one time. I was extraordinarily lucky, I got a chance to go to college when I was 29. Do you know exactly how exhausted I was after 11 years like that?

    Don't assume the worst...