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The Campaign Trail
Sen. Berger Refutes Gov. Cooper's Claim That GOP Is Blocking Teacher Raises PDF Print E-mail
The Campaign Trail
By Administrator   
Tuesday, 20 August 2019 10:25

Senate Leader Phil Berger (R-Rockingham) today issued the following statement regarding Governor Roy Cooper's strange accusation that Republicans are holding up the teacher pay raises that Republicans passed and Governor Cooper vetoed.

"Governor Roy Cooper vetoed the state budget and refuses to sign any new budget unless the legislature first passes Medicaid expansion. The budget he vetoed included the 6th and 7th consecutive pay raises for teachers.

"Instead of being honest with teachers by saying he’s holding up their pay raises over his Medicaid expansion ultimatum, he’s telling them that it’s really the mean Republicans who are blocking their raises, even though Republicans passed the budget that includes teacher raises.

"I have to hand it to him, it’s a bold strategy to block pay raises passed by Republicans, refuse to negotiate unless the legislature passes Medicaid expansion, then blame Republicans for teachers not getting their raise."


Last Updated on Tuesday, 20 August 2019 10:27
Cooper Accuses Republicans Of Blocking Teacher Raises PDF Print E-mail
The Campaign Trail
By Donna Martinez   
Tuesday, 20 August 2019 10:22
The following is statement from Governor Roy Cooper's Office: 


Many North Carolina teachers head back to school this week to prepare for the first day of class. Unfortunately, these hardworking teachers have not received a state pay raise this year because Republican stalling is holding up budget negotiations. Governor Cooper’s budget compromise proposal would offer teachers a raise more than twice as big as the Republican budget.
On Tuesday in Raleigh, Governor Cooper is meeting with educators from across the state to talk about the importance of a significant teacher pay raise for teacher recruitment and retention, which is vital to student success. 
“I am vetoing this budget because it fails in many ways.”
When Governor Cooper vetoed the budget earlier this year, he was clear that it fell short on several points. The lack of Medicaid expansion has gotten the most attention because of Republican stubbornness on the issue, but the Governor’s veto was also about Republican efforts to shortchange public education. Here’s what the Governor actually said the day he announced his veto:
[The Republican budget] values corporate tax breaks over classrooms. Gimmicks over guaranteed school construction. And political ideology over people. 
For starters, let’s look at education. We trust our teachers to educate our children. Let’s put our money where our trust is. Instead of another corporate tax break, let’s pay our teachers and show them the respect they deserve…
…Let me be clear about something – I am not vetoing this budget just because it fails to expand Medicaid. I am vetoing this budget because it fails in many ways. This budget is an astonishing failure of common sense and common decency.
Cooper’s Raise is More Than Twice the Republican Raise
Governor Cooper’s compromise proposal, sent to the legislature on July 9, included an average 8.5% raise for North Carolina teachers. The Republican budget offered a 3.8% raise. A significant raise for our teachers is an investment in our students. It will help attract and retain more high-quality educators and allow those teachers to stay focused on the classroom instead of worrying about making ends meet. This is vital for student success. 
North Carolina is competing with other states for top teaching talent. A 3.8% pay raise over two years is not enough to stay competitive with recent pay raises in neighboring states and, based on current projections, could cause North Carolina to drop in the national ranking of teacher salaries. 
Republican Stalling is Preventing a Teacher Raise
Governor Cooper’s compromise proposal has languished with Republican leaders for 42 days while they attempt to override his veto in vain. That’s 42 days that could have been spent negotiating a consensus budget that would show our teachers the respect they deserve. The reason that teachers have not yet gotten their state raise is because Republican leaders have spent their time trying to override the veto instead of negotiating. 
The Bottom Line
On all the metrics, Governor Cooper’s compromise offer is better for public education than the Republican budget. When he vetoed the Republican budget, Governor Cooper was joined by teachers because they support his efforts to do more for our students. School is just about back in session. Governor Cooper is ready to negotiate a budget to move our state forward by investing in public education and a significant teacher pay raise, he just needs Republican leaders to come to the table.
Last Updated on Tuesday, 20 August 2019 10:27
Cooper's Office: 22 Days Without GOP Budget Counteroffer PDF Print E-mail
The Campaign Trail
By Administrator   
Wednesday, 31 July 2019 10:07
The following statement is from the office of Governor Roy Cooper:


It’s been 22 days since Governor Cooper and Democratic legislators sent a compromise budget offer to Republican legislators. And for 22 days, Republican legislators have refused to make a counteroffer, instead doing anything possible to avoid negotiating.
Republican leaders have tried buying votes, threatening local funding for communities and misleading North Carolinians about the reasons for the Governor’s veto. The fact is that the Republican budget fails on a number of fronts, all of which should be on the table in negotiations.
Gov. Cooper’s compromise offer would close the health care coverage gap, raise teacher pay, cut taxes for people and guarantee school construction while balancing the budget and saving money in the Rainy Day Fund. Governor Cooper and legislative Democrats have shown they are willing to compromise, but Republicans must make a counteroffer.
Where is the Republican Counteroffer?
Legislative Republicans want North Carolinians to believe that this budget impasse is only about Medicaid expansion. In an editorial this morning, WRAL breaks down why that’s not true:
“Cooper didn’t veto the budget over some partisan or regional feud. He vetoed the bill because it fails – as have the budgets the legislature’s passed much of the last decade – to meet the most basic needs. The budget falls far short of providing a quality education for North Carolina’s school children; short-changes our public universities and community colleges; leaves the state’s environment and public spaces under-funded, fails to provide for the proper staffing and safety of our prisons and continues to jeopardize the health of more than a half-million citizens by not expanding Medicaid.”
“It is past time for legislative leaders to end their public relations spinning, stalling and desperation to override Cooper’s budget veto.
The governor earlier this month made a sincere counter offer  on the budget. It is Berger and the other legislative leaders who declare anything from Cooper as dead upon arrival, refuse to negotiate and spend their time churning out news releases.”
Sen. Berger: 30 Days Without a New Budget Because of Governor Cooper’s Medicaid-or-Nothing Ultimatum PDF Print E-mail
The Campaign Trail
By Administrator   
Wednesday, 31 July 2019 09:56

The following is a statement from Senate President Pro Tempore Phil Berger:  


Teacher and state employee raises, school construction funding, Raise the Age implementation, rape kit testing all held hostage over a single policy disagreement


Latest budget update: Governor has not backed away from Medicaid-or-nothing ultimatum; won’t even respond to Sen. Berger Raleigh, N.C. – North Carolina has been operating on a continuing budget for 30 days. A new budget cannot be finalized because Governor Cooper is maintaining his Medicaid-or-nothing ultimatum.


Senator Berger said, "The Governor will not sign any budget unless Medicaid expansion is first passed into law, so it’s difficult to take him seriously when he says he wants to negotiate the budget. I don’t think that one policy disagreement should hold up teacher and state employee raises, school construction, rape kit testing, and more. I hope that Governor Cooper will drop his Medicaid-or-nothing ultimatum so we can move forward with legitimate negotiations on other topics. In the meantime, there is a continuing budget in place based on last year’s spending levels that funds the critical functions of state government."

The continuing budget’s spending level is $23.8 billion, including debt service. That spending level will continue until a new budget is enacted.

The new budget, which Governor Cooper vetoed because of his Medicaid-or-nothing ultimatum, provided state employees with a historic 5% raise; gave teachers their sixth and seventh consecutive pay raises; provided for $4.4 billion over 10 years for school construction; and funded priority projects in communities across the state.

Last Updated on Wednesday, 31 July 2019 10:00

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