Bill Owens’ Legacy

The Daily Advance in Elizabeth City ran a great editorial pointing out the damaging cuts inflicted by the state budget. Slicing away at public services will not only hurt universities and public schools, the paper notes, but also the legacy of Rep. Bill Owens, should he help override Gov. Perdue’s veto.

Here is the conclusion:

Given his lack of zeal for a fight with Republicans over spending cuts that will hurt his constituents, it makes sense that Owens now says he’s “95 percent” certain that he won’t be seeking a tenth term next year.

That decision is certainly sad news to those of us who have followed Owens’ career and admired his leadership over the years. But it’s sadder still to think that his support for this hurtful spending plan — and not the improvements to northeastern North Carolina that he’s worked so hard to achieve these past 16 years — will be one of his final legacies.

We know legacy is also important to Owens. That’s why we remain hopeful that he will reconsider his stance on the GOP budget and do the right thing in the end — vote no when Republicans ask him to override Gov. Perdue’s veto.

Elizabeth City is Down East and down the road a bit from my home in Pitt County. Much of the employment comes from the university, community college, and public schools. Many people in that part of the state rely on Medicaid for health care. Gutting these services is not worth the small concessions Owens wrangled from Republicans.

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