Today @NCCapitol (7/29): Don't jinx it

Posted July 29, 2014

State budget

— Good morning and welcome to Today @NCCapitol for Tuesday, July 29. Here's what's going on at the legislature and around state government. 

CROSS YOUR FINGERS: After announcing a deal on a budget "framework" over the weekend, House and Senate leaders were still working Monday to iron out details of a $21.1 billion budget, now nearly a month overdue.  

NC Flag Advocates wary of scarce budget details Although a few aspects of the plan are clear enough – teachers will get a raise of 7 percent on average – several other aspect of the plan, such as what kind of raise state workers will see, are not yet public. 

Lead Senate budget writer Sen. Harry Brown, R-Onslow, said he expected the final deal to be worked out Tuesday, with the first opportunity for a Senate vote likely to come Thursday. Brown and others working on the budget were circumspect Monday about giving away too many details before a final deal is done. 

Senate President Pro Tem Phil Berger did say some sort of "reform" would be attached to the teacher salary plan but did not elaborate. 

Berger and House Speaker Thom Tillis were expected to discuss the compromise spending plan at a 1:30 p.m. news conference.

JITTERY: Meanwhile, advocates for groups at the center of the stalemate are voicing skepticism about the information revealed so far.

"The Arc of North Carolina continues to be concerned over any proposed Medicaid eligibility reductions that will negatively affect people with disabilities in our state," said Julia Adams, assistant director of government relations for the group, which represents people with disabilities. She was reacting to reports that $135 million in Medicaid cuts may require some changes to eligibility.

DON'T LET THE DOOR HIT YA: With a budget near completion, gossip around the legislative building turned to when lawmakers might finish their work for the year. 

Sen. Tom Apodaca, R-Henderson, chaired Monday night's Senate session and, after introducing the pages for the week, said, "I hope they have a great week as we shut down."

Clearly, the hope in both the House and the Senate is to depart on Friday, but lawmakers were circumspect about the prospect without a final budget in hand.

"I might be here on Saturday, or I might be fishing," said House Rules Chairman Rep. Tim Moore, R-Cleveland.

THE CALENDAR: The House will hold a no-vote skeleton floor session Tuesday. Other meetings on the legislative calendar include:

Senate Rules (9 a.m. | 1027 LB): The committee will take up the technical corrections bill passed by the House last week

Senate Select Committee on UNC Board of Governors (10 a.m. | 1027 LB): Senators will begin filling a vacancy on the Board of Governors. 

State Board of Elections (10 a.m. | 441 N. Harrington St., Raleigh): The State Board of Elections holds a meeting to make the results of the second primary official and handle other matters. 

House Democrats (11:30 a.m. | News conference room): House Minority Leader Larry Hall is scheduled to talk about the pending budget deal. 

House Agriculture (1 p.m. | 643 LOB): The committee will review an omnibus farm bill that environmental advocates say could lead to cover-ups of problem farming practices. The bill itself is a compromise worked out between the House and Senate. The House will only be able to decide whether to accept or reject the measure, not change it. 

Senate session (2 p.m. | Senate floor): Senate leaders are scheduled to vote on the same omnibus farm bill under review by the House committee. 

MARRIAGE: Following a federal appeals court ruling Monday that Virginia's same-sex marriage ban is unconstitutional, North Carolina Attorney General Roy Cooper said his office would no longer oppose challenges to the state's constitutional amendment outlawing same-sex marriage.

WALKING: A North Carolina mayor fighting for the hospital that closed in his rural North Carolina town finished his two-week protest march to the nation's capital, where he told a crowd that his community's problems are part of a larger health care struggle.


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  • joycejunior Jul 29, 2014

    View quoted thread

    You're right, history tells us that this group of republicans is indifferent to teachers and so any "raise" should be examined carefully. Like the 1.2% raise a couple of years ago that was a net decrease because they dramatically raised the healthcare out of pocket costs and reset the STEP pay schedule. Will wait for the details.

  • sisu Jul 29, 2014

    View quoted thread

    Not sure how you could miss my point. Teachers haven't had step increases in 6 or 7 years and had a 1.2% "raise" once during that time. This 7% will not apply to all teachers. Some may well get paid less than they are currently after this session is done.

    My point is that people seem to have this idea that teachers keep getting raises and the state employees get the shaft. They are all getting the shaft so why act like the teachers are the enemy?

  • FilPhord Jul 29, 2014

    in 2008-2009 a teacher in their 8th year made $38,190. Next year, with the 7%, a teacher in their 8th year will make $33,887. Does that sound like a raise?

  • flyfish42 Jul 29, 2014

    View quoted thread

    What's your point, SISU? State employees have not had an increase in years either, and a $1000 increase (and probably less) represents 2.5% for someone making $40K, whereas the cost of living has increased a minimum of 7% in the last 3 years. State employees should be concerned. McCrory, his appointed "Directors" and the GA pretend to be leaders, but have nothing but disdain for the many professionals (teachers and others) employed by the state. That's not leadership!

  • celtiquedreamz Jul 29, 2014

    If you do the math, $1000 / 12 months = $83.3; $83.3 / 4.33 weeks = $19.24; $19.24 / 5 days = $3.85; $3.85 / 8 hours = $0.48 cents per hour raise. That's right. They want to give state workers a $0.48 cent raise. And bringing up a previous article by WRAL citing that every additional day costs taxpayers $50,000 to operate. How about stop politicking, get to work, and spend our tax money more wisely and put your money where your mouth is. SMH.

  • lec02572 Jul 29, 2014

    The silence on the budget should tell you something. They will pass it and be out of town before the ink drys. Then they will have to come back when it gets a veto.

  • miseem Jul 29, 2014

    View quoted thread

    With the state making all those funding cuts, someone has to make up the difference. It falls on the shoulders of the cities and counties. And the lottery was never intended to replace taxes for education, just to give a little extra boost to education funding. Of course, the lottery was not to be used to supplant other state funds tied to education, but anyone with any sense knew that state funds for education would not rise as fast with the lottery in place. So technically, the lottery was not used to replace other state funds. Although it did.

  • sisu Jul 29, 2014

    Okay, state employees complaining about teachers possibly getting a raise and you not getting a raise.

    1. The "7%" is likely loaded to the beginning teachers. Experienced teachers may get little to nothing. In fact, the way some of the legislators are talking, NBCT, masters, and longevity may get folded into the "raise" which would actually end in a decrease in pay for those affected.

    2. In most articles I've read there has been mention of state employees getting a raise. I don't know why that isn't noticed. Sure, it isn't a sure-thing specified, but neither is the teacher situation.

    3. According to the article the legislators are saying the teacher "raise" will come with caveats yet to be announced. Many of these legislators are not interested in making things better for teachers. They are trying to pit groups against one another.

    4. Be thankful they aren't talking about SE's too much. Nothing much good has come of the talking they have done regarding teachers.

  • Forthe Newssite Jul 29, 2014
    user avatar

    Speaker Tillis: Thom.Tillis@ncleg.net 919-733-3451
    Senator Berger: Phil.Berger@ncleg.net (919) 733-5708

    These 2 need to be contacted so that they can put BACK language in the budget to protect animals! The 2 jokers are so far in the pockets of the AKC it's sad.....and other pockets as well, but this animal welfare/puppy mill bill is important to me and many others.

  • CherryDarling Jul 29, 2014

    WRAL --- you guys are always on top of the "crisis" teachers are facing and you claim to be about fighting for what's right. How about you investigate how all other state workers are being treated - and have been treated for years. They are given a miniscule raise every few years (if that) and extra "vacation" days to shut them up. The sad part is, it appears to work - which is probably why they continue act like no state employees other than teachers matter.