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House Republicans push back on budget

Posted May 2, 2011

NC House Republicans held an unusual Monday afternoon press conference today to combat what they say are exaggerated estimates of job losses under their budget proposal.

Democrats have been warning the House GOP plan would ax more than 30,000 jobs, more than 18,000 in education alone. But House Speaker Thom Tillis denied it: “It simply doesn’t work out with the math.”

Tillis said “maybe as many as 5,000 to 7,000” current workers could lose their jobs. But he says the rest of the cuts are either to vacant positions, or can be covered for by normal job turnover among teachers and state employees. In fact, he claims the budget could generate 14,000 jobs through funding for repairs and renovations.

Tillis also said laid-off teachers and employees would have “priority” in rehiring to fill vacant positions. But section 7.23(b) of the budget bill appears to remove that priority status for teachers. Education Subcommittee co-chair Bryan Holloway couldn’t immediately say why that provision was included.

Natural and Economic Resources Subcommittee co-chairs Roger West (R-Cherokee) and Carolyn Justice (R-Pender) defended their 22% cut to the Dept. of Environmental Resources.

West said it’s a relatively small agency to begin with, but “we had to make some fairly substantial cuts and we had nowhere else to get it.”

Justice explained that their budget area also covers the Dept. of Agriculture, which is still the state’s number-one industry, as well as Commerce, which seeks to bring jobs into the state. 

DENR, on the other hand, “is not a job producer,” she said.   House GOP Presser May 2, 2011 House GOP defends budget plan

“It was not just a wholesale slaughter,” Justice argued. “It was well thought-out.”

Watch the whole press conference at right.

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  • dlphnwmn8 May 9, 2011

    Still nothing on HB 676

  • Come On_Seriously May 3, 2011

    "...can be covered for by normal job turnover among teachers and state employees"
    Hmmm, so a teacher leaves to move to a job that pays more in a different state and we just don't hire someone to refill the position. You still end up with a classroom missing a teacher.
    DENR not a job producer says the business manager for condo and patio associations? Maybe not to her understanding of a 'job' and maybe not as much of a job producer as the agency that supports the State Fair (Ag), but there are a ton of jobs out there related to environmental consulting, construction, restoration, cleanup, stormwater management, and safety, that indeed rely on DENR. It is a small agency as Rep contractor West says, and they're taking a MUCH larger hit than anyone else-partly because West has a well-documented grudge against DENR and has tried to use his political muscle against individuals in the agency in the past (because a friend was cited for Clean Water Act violations).

  • sneeziegal May 3, 2011

    "Tillis also said laid-off teachers and employees would have “priority” in rehiring to fill vacant positions."

    Umm, the same vacant positions that are being cut??