Senate President Pro Tempore Phil Berger (R-Rockingham) and House Speaker Thom Tillis (R-Mecklenburg) on Tuesday called for Gov. Beverly Perdue to sign a $20.2 billion budget adjustment that invests hundreds of millions of state dollars in public education, fixes serious problems in Medicaid, cuts the gas tax, and gives raises to teachers and state employees – without hiking taxes or incurring debt.
The two-year budget enacted last year will remain in place if the governor vetoes the improvements the General Assembly made last week. North Carolinians will face serious consequences if she chooses to place politics ahead of the public interest. Among the worst consequences of failing to make second-year budget adjustments are:
- $255 million in additional state funds will not go to public K-12 education. This includes $126.9 million to fill in the discretionary cut for the 2012-2013 fiscal year, $16.4 million in lottery funds, a $27 million education reform program to strengthen student literacy and improve graduation rates, and $85 million for a 1.2 percent raise for public school teachers.
- In addition to public school teachers, state employees will lose a 1.2 percent raise. This will be the fifth consecutive year they go without a salary increase. State retirees will lose a 1 percent cost of living adjustment increase.
- The state’s Medicaid program will run out of money during the fiscal year, causing doctors to go unpaid and patient care to suffer.
- Programs for needy families and the state’s at-risk population will not receive $900 million in federal block grants.
- The state’s gas tax will not be cut.