Together NC, the coalition representing more than 120 non-profit organizations, service providers, and professional associations, has released a statement sharply criticizing the state Senate’s passage of its budget proposal:
‘We are deeply disappointed that the North Carolina Senate passed its extremely backwards budget plan. Cutting more out of public schools, health care, and infrastructure is the exact opposite of what North Carolina needs for full economic recovery. It is also completely contrary to public will. This is a sad day for all of us who’ve worked to make North Carolina a better place to live, grow up, grow old and do business.
To add insult to injury is the manner in which Senate leadership debated their final vote on the state budget. They played political games by proposing a vote on the temporary one-cent sales tax increase that we and many others have called for to restore deep budget cuts yet didn’t allow for full deliberation of the proposal or serious consideration. It turned out it was a joke vote.
It’s not a joke to the nearly 3,000 educators who lost their jobs due to last year’s budget cuts and those that will lose them in the year to come. It’s not a joke to the youth in North Carolina who will no longer benefit from innovative tobacco prevention programs. It’s not a joke to the low-income four year olds who will miss out on a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to succeed in school. And it’s not a joke to the seniors who can no longer receive eyeglasses.
Voters elect their representatives to make serious decisions about the direction of our state. To ignore that responsibility is a failure to lead. To make a mockery of it is to lead in the wrong direction.’
To further express its displeasure with the state spending plan, coalition partners are convening the first annual Backwards Budget .5K next Tuesday. Participants will race backwards around the Halifax Mall (directly behind the General Assembly) to shine a spotlight on the legislature’s backwards approach to the North Carolina’s budget.