Commentary

Just because House Speaker Thom Tillis couldn’t stop talking in the debate last night about the alleged 7% percent teacher pay raise the General Assembly passed this year doesn’t mean all the Republicans in the General Assembly are happy with it. Rowan County legislators in particular don’t seem thrilled with the 7% or 5% percent or 0.29% percent salary increase according to a story in a Salisbury Post over the weekend.

Rep. Harry Warren, a Republican who represents Rowan County, said the budget and, subsequently, the teacher pay raise, weren’t fiscally responsible.

“By making a commitment to fund everything that we funded, it’s going to cause some very tight fiscal maneuvering,” he said. “Money was pulled from a lot of different pots to fund the teacher raises. It was more than we can afford.”

Then there is Senator Andrew Brock who doesn’t seem to understand why there’s such a fuss about low teacher pay anyway.

Sen. Andrew Brock, a Republican who represents Rowan, Iredell and Davie counties, said teacher pay may seem low, but ultimately depends on the area’s cost of living.

“When you move away from those large cities, your dollar goes further,” Brock said.

So remember that teachers. Just because you had to work 16 years to make a $40,000 salary, it’s not really a big deal, especially if you live outside the cities. And the state can’t really afford the raise that some of you received this year anyway, so there’s not likely to be another one any time soon, what with the exploding cost of those tax cuts.

With friends like these in power in Raleigh, teachers really have it made.

Commentary

In case you are wondering if the animosity between Governor Pat McCrory and Senate leaders has lessened since the legislative session adjourned, the answer seems to be no, judging by comments at this weekend’s apple festival in Hendersonville.MC_AP

McCrory rode in the King Apple Parade Monday and told the Times-News that he was still upset about the new coal ash commission created by the General Assembly and believes it is unconstitutional. McCrory said his lawyers are still reviewing the coal ash legislation that includes the commission.

That prompted powerful Senate Rules Chair Tom Apodaca, who represents Hendersonville and was also in the parade, to respond with this about McCrory’s legal team.

His attorney is probably a great attorney for real estate closings, but I don’t think he pays a lot of attention to the constitutional picture.

Ouch.

It’s not clear from McCrory’s comments if he still plans to sign the coal ash bill. It is clear that his relationship with Senate leaders is still strained.

Uncategorized

The big story of the day is the decision by Superior Court Judge Robert Hobgood this morning that the private school voucher scheme passed by the General Assembly last year violates the state constitution and as Hobgood put it,

The General Assembly fails the children of North Carolina when they are sent with public taxpayer money to private schools that have no legal obligation to teach them anything.

NC Policy Watch reporters Lindsay Wagner and Sharon McCloskey have more on the story on the main NCPW page.

 

Uncategorized

Governor Pat McCrory called reporters to his office Friday afternoon and with his cabinet standing dutifully behind him proclaimed that he will be proud to sign the budget passed by the House and Senate.

In case you are wondering when the signing ceremony will take place, a Monday Associated Press story reported that it will happen after McCrory actually reads the budget.

McCrory didn’t know when he would sign the budget bill into law as “the governor is reviewing it line by line,” spokesman Ryan Tronovitch said by email.

So if you are keeping score at home, McCrory announced Friday that he was proud to sign the budget that on Monday his staff admitted he still hadn’t read. That’s reassuring.

 

 

Uncategorized

The complimentary USA Today that hotels give to their guests has this as the only news about North Carolina in their  State-by-State news section this morning.

The Wildlife Resources Commission would like anyone who spots a wild turkey through Aug. 31 to enter it into an online database.

Apparently nothing else is going on in Raleigh these days. Please keep your eyes peeled for those wild turkeys.