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Education cuts, higher tuition draw ire at Tillis town hall (video)

House Speaker Thom Tillis held what was likely his final town hall meeting of the year in High Point on Thursday.

Tillis again defended the Republican’s $19 billion dollar state spending plan, asserting there was no way to avoid cuts to education, health and human services, or the environment in a tough budget year.

But as Rob Schofield notes in his latest Weekly Briefing, many citizens are just now revisiting the ‘concrete list of “gifts” given to the state in 2011.’

At the Speaker’s town hall meeting Monday in Pittsboro, two taxpayers expressed anger and frustration with the $400 million in cuts to the University of North Carolina system.

The father of  two college-age sons told Speaker Tillis the state was “walking away from its mandated obligation” to keep university tuition as affordable as practicable.

Another woman who works at the UNC School of Education told the Speaker of the N.C. House it was difficult to prepare teachers to do their jobs after sustaining another round of cuts. She also found fault with offsetting state budget cuts with higher tuition, which many universities have done to cope with the state-mandated cuts.

Tillis reiterated his support for allowing temporary taxes to expire this year, saying there are “tens of thousands of people where a penny makes a huge difference.”

You can watch both exchanges below.

(Our thanks to Jan Nichols for the video from the Dec. 12, 2011 town hall.)

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