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NC scholars speak out against 'destructive' GOP policies

Posted March 28, 2013

— Educators from colleges and universities across the state gathered in Durham Thursday evening to speak out against Republican-backed policy changes and decisions made by the General Assembly that they say could hurt North Carolina. 

In a standing room only meeting on Duke University's campus, the Scholars for a Progressive North Carolina touched on dozens of topics, including Medicaid expansion and the state's education system.

"As scholars, what especially concerns us is that the new legislature seems bent on enacting policies that are most wholly unsupported by any serious research," Dr. Lisa Levenstein, a professor at UNC Greensboro, said. The State House of Representatives 2013 N.C. General Assembly Issue Tracker

Dr. David Jolly, a professor at North Carolina Central University, pointed to the recent decision by lawmakers not to expand the state's Medicaid program with federal money. 

"Medicaid expansion in North Carolina would provide health care coverage to 500,000 low-income citizens who are currently uninsured," Jolly said. 

House Majority Leader Paul Stam, R-Wake County, said decisions Republican lawmakers have made on Medicaid and other issues line up with promises made in their campaigns. 

"Our Medicaid, which is the second biggest part of our budget, will be expanded this year," he said. "We just can't handle an extra 500,000 people being added to the rolls. The things that are in our platform, people expect us to do them. And so when we do them, they act surprised."

With a majority in the state House and Senate and the sitting governor in Pat McCrory, Republican leaders have been able to move legislation from idea to law more quickly this spring than in recent memory.

A bill to change unemployment benefits and another to limit the authority individuals communities have over housing design moved quickly. Lawmaker generic, General Assembly generic Scholars pack forum to speak out against GOP policies

Lawmakers are also considering the possibility of eliminating one or two campuses in the University of North Carolina system, a top Senate budget-writer said last week. Gov. Pat McCrory called for a $135 million cut in funding for the UNC system in the 2013-14 budget proposal he rolled out on March 20. 

"The state of North Carolina needs a strong public education system," Dr. Helen Ladd, a professor at Duke, said. "Without one, we'll be wasting our most precious resource: our people."

Other scholars in attendance Thursday said they don't believe Republican policies will help the state in the future. 

"There's one direction, one vision, one set of priorities," Dr. Robert Korstad, a professor at Duke, said. "I don't think in the long term those will be beneficial for the state."

Stam disagreed, saying recent decisions are "sound policy desired by a clear majority of North Carolinians."

Dr. Gunter Peck, a professor at Duke, said SPNC officials want GOP leaders to reconsider "their irrational and self-destructive opposition to environmental protection and conservation in our beautiful state."

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  • ech Apr 3, 2013

    you can tell where WRAL stands on this issue too. Just the Article Heading along. "NC scholars speak out against 'destructive' GOP policies"
    Are you too on the Progressive Pay Roll?

  • retprof Apr 3, 2013

    Following time in the military and in industry and after a career on the faculty of UNC Chapel Hill, I have begun to understand the monolithic political outlook of most university faculty members. As a group the so-called progressive and socialist faculty members cannot understand that Americans believe that they can decide on their own future without the forced help from government programs and people who have been pampered with secure jobs and hidden from the real world. While highly educated they can’t quite get over the fact that our Constitution was written to protect citizens from government and not the opposite. They actually believe that with little or no experience in the “real world” they know better and that government programs supply all the answers, since they were largely constructed by their colleagues. They ignore that their socialist ideals have failed everywhere where implemented.

  • stymieindurham Apr 1, 2013

    " . . . Scholars for a Progressive North Carolina . . . "
    ============================================================
    ====
    That's all you need to know about this article!!! Progressives. Left-wing elitists. That's what's wrong with these schools. To them, you don't matter. Just let them think for you.

  • JustOneGodLessThanU Apr 1, 2013

    These over-educated elitists think that by studying something intently & working for decades to help society and their fellow man... that they somehow know these things better than politicians. What snobs.

    (sarcasm)

  • NoBibleBabble Apr 1, 2013

    f you had told "we the people" that you would focus on bigger government through unnecessary intrusions in our personal lives we would not have voted for you. ubnice

    Like the unnecessary intrusions into gay peoples personal lives with amendment #1 that you so happily celebrate? That's an intrusion by the GOP as well. Now the GOP is going after education, and the only reason is that college educated people lean liberal and democrat.

  • uBnice Apr 1, 2013

    House Majority Leader Paul Stam, R-Wake County, said decisions Republican lawmakers have made on Medicaid and other issues line up with promises made in their campaigns.

    *********************

    No, that is not true. If you had told "we the people" that you would focus on bigger government through unnecessary intrusions in our personal lives we would not have voted for you. If you would have told us that jobs would be the last thing on your agenda then we would not have voted for you. If McCrory would have told us that he do the things he has done then we would not had voted for him.

    But now that we know, we will not vote for you.