WAKE DEMS WEEKLY UPDATE, Vol. 1, No. 4
May 6, 2017
Read the official Non-Revenue and Non-Appropriations Bills Crossover List – 2017, with all the bills that made the crossover deadline last week and are still eligible for passage.
BUSY WEEK FOR GOVERNOR ROY COOPER
After the long nights of crossover week, this past week was a quiet one at the General Assembly, as Senate leadership prepares its budget. With one exception, neither chamber held votes on the floor (see the final item in this list), and only one committee meeting was held. But the governor had a lot to do.
- Vetoed House Bill 467 on Friday. Read Gov. Cooper’s Objections and Veto Message for HB 467. This bill, which would disproportionately and negatively affect communities of color, caps the damages nearby property owners can receive when their property and health are harmed by pork producers spreading their waste. In addition, “There is a great danger this bill treads on very thin constitutional ice. We cannot set rules for court,” said Rep. Joe John (D-Wake).
- Attended the funeral for 29-year-old Sgt. Meggan Callahan in Edenton on Thursday. An inmate at the Bertie Correctional Institution killed Sgt. Callahan as she was responding to a fire.
- Signed the memorial book in the legislative press room to mourn the sudden death of Mark Binker, a longtime member of the legislative press corps who was loved and respected by his colleagues and lawmakers from both sides of the aisle.
- It was not all bad news for the governor, as he celebrated The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill 2017 NCAA Champions and Coach Roy Williams at the mansion on Wednesday. The sky was a lovely Carolina blue for the occasion. The team was also honored by a resolution passed in a joint session of the General Assembly.
As you might remember, House Bill 13 -- Class Size Requirement Changes (now Session Law 2017-9) only promises a one-year solution to the class size/specials predicament. Despite public pronouncements by Senate leadership, no appropriation for Fiscal Year 2018-19 was added to the bill. Sen. Jay Chaudhuri (D-Wake) put forth an amendment to provide these funds, but it was voted down.
According to NC Policy Watch, “To fully fund class-size requirements and enhancement teachers, the General Assembly will need to increase classroom teacher funding by approximately $293 million in FY 18-19.”
RUMOR OF STATE BUDGET
The Senate is expected to introduce and pass its budget next week. That will be sent to the House, which will produce its own version. After that, a Conference Committee will be appointed from both chambers to work out the differences.
Gov. Cooper already released his own budget proposal in March. Democrats will be looking for many of the governor’s priorities in the Republicans’ budget, including:
- teacher pay raises which would bring us to tops in the Southeast in three years and to the national average in five
- higher pay for school administrators and staff, and the largest raise for non-school state employees in a decade
- a $150 supplies stipend for teachers
- the restoration of the Child Care Tax Credit and the first new investment in early childhood education since 2008, including over $1.3 million for Wake County
- free community college for qualifying students, including an estimated 5,104 in Wake
- an expansion of Medicaid to cover an additional 624,000 North Carolinians, which would boost our economy by $4 billion annually
- the return of the film tax incentive