Commentary

Three of the weekend’s best editorials

Three North Carolina news outlets featured top-flight editorials over the weekend that continued the drumbeat of criticism for the General Assembly’s desultory performance in 2019.

The Wilmington Star News rightfully blasted legislative Republicans for their disastrous failure to pass a state budget and refusal to negotiate in good faith with Gov. Cooper:

Instead of negotiating, the House called a snap vote on a day when many Democratic legislators were away. With few Democrats in the room, the Republicans got their 60 percent majority.

The Senate has been trying to pull the same stunt, but once burned, the Democrats have been vigilant. The Senate has been getting called to order, but with too many Democrats in the room, there’s a quick recess.

Others besides political observers are starting to take note. Recently, Moody’s, the credit rating agency, declared that the budget standoff “reflects governance weakness and is credit negative.”

…With local legislators home, they need to be asked why they put up with this charade — and what they’re going to do to make sure it doesn’t happen again.

The Winston-Salem Journal lamented the state of rural health care in North Carolina and its link to the General Assembly’ failure to expand Medicaid:

People without health insurance are much less likely to receive preventative care and more likely to skip procedures that could detect disease.

“If you don’t have access you’re not gonna get your prostate checked, you’re not gonna get your PSA done, you’re not gonna get that mammogram if you have a lump,” Pamela Tripp, CEO of CommWell Health, said.

It’s in light of these facts that the state Senate is sitting on Medicaid expansion, which could extend health coverage to an estimated 600,000 North Carolinians….

We have no desire to see our neighbors suffer, and every reason to want their health concerns to be treated seriously. To a large degree, we’re all in this together; more resources need to be provided to our rural neighbors.

And here’s the Greensboro News & Record on the latest scheme to gerrymander the state’s congressional map:

A panel of judges had rightly ordered the revised districts because Republican lawmakers had manipulated the lines to favor Republican candidates in most races. In a state in which Democrats and Republicans are almost evenly divided, Republicans hold 10 of the state’s 13 seats in Congress. The new maps would close that gap, making it likely that eight Republicans and five Democrats would be elected. But the districts still skew red in a state that is purple. And the process has remained self-serving and opaque, with Republicans hoping they can get by with doing the bare minimum to improve the maps while protecting their skewed majorities (all the more reason for nonpartisan redistricting).

The courts should return the Republicans’ districting homework with a gentleman’s D+ and a note to try harder.

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