Editorial pages across the state are calling on state lawmakers (and, in particular, the state Senate) to end the absurd delay in the FY 2016 budget that is already more than a month overdue.
Sunday’s Greensboro News & Record says it’s clear that lawmakers should adopt the House version of the budget:
“It’s been a decade since the legislature went so late into the summer before agreeing on a budget, and there’s no end in sight. Every day adds to the cost of keeping the General Assembly operating. Unlike in some states, North Carolina’s legislature doesn’t put any limits on how long it can stay in session. It should. But it also should simplify the budget process by excluding everything that isn’t actually necessary.
At 500 pages, the Senate’s proposed budget is 200 pages longer than the House plan. Yet the House managed to fund every state agency in its modest 300 pages. The House budget was approved by a strong bipartisan vote. Senate budget writers added too many measures that should have been handled in separate legislation. Only Republicans voted for the Senate budget. A concurrence vote in the House failed unanimously. Clearly, the House blueprint is more broadly appealing, and Senate negotiators could move things along if they would simply adopt the House version.”
This comes on top of similar calls last week from Raleigh’s News & Observer and the Charlotte Observer to end the posturing get on with things. Here’s the N&O:
The delay isn’t just a problem of political dysfunction. It has serious consequences for funding public education, and there’s nervousness among school administrators about how long the impasse will continue.