State Budget Bad Actors
Just this week, several Democratic members of our North Carolina General Assembly, namely Rep. Cecil Brockman, Rep. Carla Cunningham, Rep. Garland Pierce, Rep. Shelly Willingham, and Rep. Michael Wray joined alongside Republican members and supported one of the most egregious state budgets we’ve seen in this decade.
This budget drastically defunds and alters our public education, healthcare, court, and elections systems in all 100 counties in our state. To add insult to injury, in its draft form, NC Republican Leadership attempted to hold hostage a 13-year delayed arrival of Medicaid expansion in exchange for casinos to be built in low-wealth, low-wage regions of our state, only ceasing their efforts due to them not even having the support of their own GOP caucus, let alone the support of the people of this state.
To see black lawmakers align with leaders of the Republican Party as they launch continuous attacks on residents in our state by significantly reducing funding for our public schools, which educate our Black, Indigenous, Latinx, low-income, and other marginalized communities, removing our Black Judges from the bench, and continuing to create pay off opportunities for their wealthy peers for political gain is a surprisingly unfortunate decision that will impact millions of North Carolinians.
As a leading organization for improving conditions for disproportionately impacted residents of this state, we are ashamed and disappointed to see five elected officials representing majority minority districts support this closed-door political game that intentionally disregards BIPOC communities across North Carolina.
The Democratic legislators who stood firmly together to ensure the work of the people to secure Medicaid expansion was not in vain should be applauded. Their rejection of Republican attempts at extortion with the casino deal and vote against this criminally horrible budget is an example of the integrity their constituents deserve.
Republicans will try to spin this budget as a win while funneling half a billion dollars away from our schools, neglecting, defunding our elections, and destroying our judiciary. While we are not surprised at the actions of the radical, right wing in control of our General Assembly, we are alarmed by the obvious gamble certain black lawmakers have taken as they bet against the people of our state.