This is Walt Mack.
Lawmakers are growing restless in Raleigh.
I’m speaking about the State Legislators who are wrangling over proposed teacher salary hikes and how to pay for them.
Oddly, the dispute rages between the House and Senate chambers—both sides dominated by Republicans. In a joint session, tensions became so heated that the House GOP representatives stormed out of the meeting.
The house had proposed increasing the lottery advertising budget to generate enough revenue to cover the 5 to 6 percent raise for teachers. The senate rejected that proposal outright. And the House agreed to drop the lottery advertising budget increase.
The Senate wants to raise teacher pay by 11%, and offset it by cutting teacher assistants. But Governor Pat McCrory has threatened to veto this plan since it involves draconian cuts in programs like teacher’s assistants and Medicaid. A proposed budget reduction in Medicaid could chop up to 15,000 poor and disabled from the rolls.
If this sounds familiar, it is. A similar impasse is occurring in Washington. The big difference is that it’s between Republicans and Democrats. If Republicans can’t agree with each other, what hope do we have for finding common ground with Democrats?
There’s no doubt the money to pay for teacher pay raises will have to come from somewhere. But how much and where?
My guess is that it will be off the backs of the poor working class.