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McCrory says he is 'disappointed' in Senate

Posted July 9

— If there was any doubt on where Gov. Pat McCrory stood on the current budget negotiations, he erased it Wednesday afternoon on the campus of Shaw University.

McCrory heaped praise on House Speaker Thom Tillis for calling teachers and superintendents to testify to the budget conference committee that is working out differences between the House and Senate, while lambasting senators for walking out of the room

"I am disappointed that the Senate walked out on superintendents and teachers," McCrory said after meeting with his Education Cabinet at Shaw. "We need to listen to them, not walk out on them."

In addition to style, the governor has also backed the substance of the House plans to raise teacher salaries 5 percent while also covering other needs in state government. Senate leaders have proposed an 11 percent teacher pay hike that, in some drafts of the budget, would be paid for by cutting teaching assistants and paring back Medicaid spending. Senators said Wednesday morning they believe they could both keep teaching assistants and raise teacher pay 11 percent, but they did not offer a detailed plan of how that might work.

Asked if he thought an 11 percent raise was realistic, McCrory said, "No, no it's not realistic for the long term."

For their part, senators did not seem to register the criticism.

"Senate conferees' number one priority for this budget is to provide teachers with an 11 percent pay raise - and they made a major concession on tenure and offered to fully fund teacher assistants in order to achieve that important goal," said Amy Auth, a spokeswoman for Senate President Pro Temp Phil Berger. "It's unfortunate that some folks want to ignore this progress and focus on scoring cheap political points instead of supporting the largest teacher pay raise in state history."

McCrory said the raise would both require cuts to other areas of state government that could present long-term problems and pose a hardship for counties, which would have to find the money for raises for teachers paid for by local tax dollars. 

"We've got to look at the cause and effect of everything. You can't look at one thing in a silo," he said.

Asked if he thought he might be antagonizing the Senate, whose members said they were ready to hold out to Christmas in order to get a budget deal, McCrory said he didn't care.

"You know what? My job as governor is to lead and express the viewpoint of the people I've been listening to," he said. "Not only that, as governor I've got cabinet members, and we've got educators here who have to implement the policies in the budget that are passed. It would be irresponsible of me not to speak out when I disagree with others."

12 Comments

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  • YourConscience Jul 10, 12:59 p.m.

    I think that Mr. Brown will have past Christmas in 2016 to think about the budget, when he's out of a job. The voters can be just as callus as he is.

  • Honesty first Jul 10, 12:37 p.m.

    And I am disappointed in McCrory. I am not surprised but had hoped he might be a better governor.

  • katgotyertongue Jul 10, 11:54 a.m.

    Oh please....you reap what you sow!

  • angelallgrim Jul 10, 11:23 a.m.

    It would have been great if the General Assembly called in teachers and administrators last summer for their input before they gutted the whole system and now have to back track to save their bacon. With that being said, now that a minute shred of common sense creeps its way onto the floor of the General Assembly and the state Senate walks out. I live in Onslow County and I am spreading this info to my friends about Harry Brown and his lack of respect and interest in the input of his constituents. There is more to Onslow County than the Marines and even they deserve a quality public education for their kids.

  • Stop Making Sense Jul 10, 11:07 a.m.

    This is what a government bought and paid for by corporations and billionaires looks like. Enjoy.

  • 42 Jul 10, 10:02 a.m.

    ""I am disappointed that the Senate"

    Well Gov, now you know how WE feel about YOU.

  • normson7 Jul 10, 9:58 a.m.

    Now the "Party of No" even tells their own "NO"!

  • lavenderdejectedmoon Jul 10, 9:01 a.m.

    I am disappointed in McCrory.

  • skeeter II Jul 10, 8:10 a.m.

    I do not think that outsiders have participated or given views in past years when the Senate and House have been negotiating the budget!

    Also, it appears that they were not told ahead of time that there would be people to "testify" on Education at that meeting. So be angry at the House and not the Senate!

    The State is operating under the second year budget approved last year. The purpose of this year legislation is to adjust the second year budget. The counties knew last year what they would receive from this year's budget. Counties and cities have to approve the budget for the coming year by midnight of June 30. They did that, including how much county funds to provide to the county school system. The school system tried to anticipate how much would be received from the State DPI, and made plans to spend the additional funds that they thought would be received.

  • teacher2X4 Jul 9, 9:39 p.m.

    McCrory was finally honest with his "I don't care" statement. The #1 reason this can't get done is because of last years tax cuts.

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