We’re now two months into the new fiscal year and, as has been their penchant for the last several years, Republican legislative leaders in North Carolina are fooling around with distracting side issues and ignoring the ones that really matter. That’s the gist of this morning’s lead Capitol Broadcasting Company editorial on WRAL.com.
As the editorial notes, at a time in which the state confronts a host of massive needs, the General Assembly is wasting time on things like micromanaging the K-12 history curriculum and the nonprofit that oversees high school sports.
Meanwhile, as it also notes, the list of issues to which lawmakers should be devoting attention continues to grow:
- Living up to the state Constitutional right to provide every child access to a quality education and adhering to a state court order to do it.
- A looming statewide teacher shortage that will exacerbate the already dual problems of students falling behind amid the pandemic and already over-crowded classrooms where teachers have heavier loads and legislative leaders have been cutting back on much-needed teacher aides.
- Make sure everyone – including more than a half-million now left out – has access to adequate health care particularly doing the COVID pandemic.
- A living minimum wage for ALL North Carolina workers and an unemployment insurance system that does more than perpetuate poverty.
- Enacting a non-partisan system for determining representative districts for congressional and legislative elections.
- State infrastructure needs, more and modernized school facilities; crumbling bridges and highways; neglected public lands, historic sites and other facilities; and other needs. The only attention these issues get is as budget pork barrel to garner backing for a budget – the final version of which still hasn’t been disclosed.
The bottom line: it’s long past time for the G.A. to get to work and do its duty — or, as the editorial puts it:
This flim-flam has cost North Carolinians dearly. The deception and political slight of hand is neither entertaining nor productive as the legislature starts is third month in overtime.
It is not too much to ask, at $50,000-a-day, to have a legislature that finally gets down to business, focuses on the real issues and needs of North Carolina and stops with the inflated rhetoric, side shows and gimmicks.
Click here to read the entire editorial.