NC NOW Legislative Update, 21 May 2018

This is the NC NOW Legislative Update (dated 20 May 18) for the NC General Assembly’s 2018 “short session” which began on 5/16/18.

NC Teachers show up as a sea of red for ed to greet the NCGA’s return for the “short session.”

Photo Credit: Vicki Vars Boyer

On opening day between 20,000 and 30,000 teachers from all across the state marched and rallied in Raleigh in support of higher pay for teachers and more funding for schools.  Many took the opportunity to visit their representatives to explain that over the past 10 years teacher pay and per capita spending for students has actually declined when adjusted for inflation.

Budget

On May 16 the legislative session began.  This year’s session is what is called a short session whose main purpose is to adjust the two-year budget passed last year.  (For an excellent discussion of what a short session is and does, see: http://strongernc.org/whats-a-short-session-anyway/.)   This year lawmakers will have an estimated 347-million-dollar surplus to work with.  State senate and house leaders have been meeting behind closed doors and have agreed on an overall spending target of 23.9 billion dollars, an agreement that may help shorten the session.  The Republican leaders have also agreed not to alter the teacher pay raises included in the budget passed last year and to implement the tax cuts passed then (for more details, see https://www.usnews.com/news/best-states/north-carolina/articles/2018-05-07/n-carolina-lawmakers-expect-357m-surplus-uptick-next-year).  Governor Cooper has offered an alternative budget proposal that includes better pay raises for teachers and more school spending paid for through a delay in implementing the tax cuts.

Read the whole legislative update at NC_NOW_Legislative_Update_21_May_2018.v2 for the rest of the story, including on judicial gerrymandering and the Equal Rights Amendment bills which are still alive.

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