Jeff McNeely

Jeff McNeely

Senate Democrats sided with Gov. Roy Cooper to block the state budget because it does not contain Medicaid expansion. In doing so, they blocked teacher pay raises and $13,304,411 in capital money for Iredell-Statesville Schools.

The speaker of the N.C. House of Representatives, Rep. Tim Moore, (R-Cleveland) said, “The governor has vetoed pay raise after pay raise to use our public-school systems as leverage to get his way on Medicaid expansion. It’s disappointing that Democrats decided to support the governor’s gridlock instead of North Carolina’s teachers who deserve the higher take-home pay repeatedly approved by the General Assembly.”

The budget that Democrats chose to block includes the following statewide appropriations:

The six and seventh consecutive pay raises for teachers, on top of the 20 percent raise over the last five years;

$3.2 billion in cash for new schools over the next 10 years;

$20 million to provide in-home health care for 1,000 families with a child who has a developmental or intellectual disability.

The budget had broad bipartisan support, which it had when it passed the House and Senate. But, Gov. Roy Cooper vetoed the budget because it did not contain Medicaid expansion.

Now our state’s hard-working teachers have no pay increase, a steep price to pay for the governor’s using them as pawns in his political game.

Teachers should be outraged at his lack of concern for their well-being, realizing that he has vetoed every pay increase passed by the General Assembly while he has been in office. Certainly his assertion that he is trying to get them bigger raises rings hollow to our state’s educators who have had their pay raises blocked by him time after time.

Teachers, please make sure you tell Gov. Roy Cooper, “Thanks for nothing.”