Josh Stein: End The Budget Impasse & Do Your Job To Help North Carolinians
The North Carolina State House has announced there will be no votes for the next two weeks, continuing weeks of delay and letting down the millions of North Carolinians who are counting on the legislature to fund their kids’ schools, expand Medicaid, and keep families safe.
“By delaying budget negotiations, Republican leaders in the General Assembly are not just failing to do their job – they’re failing to pay our teachers, bring life-saving health care to thousands of North Carolinians, or invest in law enforcement officers to protect North Carolina families,” said Attorney General and candidate for governor Josh Stein. “It’s past time for the Republican supermajority to stop bickering with each other and get to work on behalf of the people of our state.”
Last week, Attorney General Stein joined House Democrats to underscore the impact of a prolonged budget impasse on North Carolinians:
- “I’m disappointed by what appears to be a lack of concern for the real priorities of the people in North Carolina,” Stein told The News & Observer after a news conference by Democrats, noting the delay in Medicaid expansion, schools funding and “sufficient steps” to recruit and retain law enforcement officers.
- A state budget impasse has become the norm rather than the exception the past few budget cycles, but this year the dispute is between the Republican-controlled House and Senate.
- Stein also said that Republicans’ “priorities are to favor tax cuts for millionaires and corporations. Instead of investing in our kids and strengthening our public schools.”
- Stein criticized Republican budget priorities. If he wins the 2024 gubernatorial race, the budget bill would go to his desk to sign or veto. “And when you look at education and workforce development, we’re OK right now. But where are we going to be in five years? Where are we going to be in 10 years? And I think we are shortchanging our kids. We’re making it harder for our kids to compete in this global economy. And those are the wrong priorities.”
- Stein, a state senator before being elected AG in 2016, urged lawmakers to act and spend more on efforts to recruit police officers and sheriffs’ deputies and keep them on the force. While some of the ideas he’s promoted are advancing, Stein said, the House and Senate budget proposals don’t “do nearly enough to address the real challenges that I hear about from law enforcement on a regular basis.”
- Attorney General Josh Stein spoke about the impact that the prolonged budget delay is having on local law enforcement retention and recruitment.
- “Public-spirited law enforcement officers play a huge role in protecting the people of North Carolina,” Attorney General Josh Stein said. “We are incredibly grateful to law enforcement for their dedication and their bravery. But too many cities, towns, and counties are experiencing shortages of law enforcement in their departments. I am urging the budget conference committee to appropriate the resources necessary to help local law enforcement agencies hire and keep good cops. It is not enough to say that we honor and respect the work of law enforcement. We need to put our money where our mouths are.”