Help Defend Gov. Cooper's 2017 Budget Proposals - Personal Stories Needed!
The NC House is preparing to debate the state budget and our elected representatives need your help. Personal stories of how cuts could affect you and your families will give them valuable collateral as they fight on our behalf. Deadline: 5/24.

Below are features of Gov. Cooper's proposed budget that the Senate has already slashed. How will cuts in these areas impact you or someone you know personally?

Gov. Cooper's proposed budget does not raise taxes or fees, cut services, or borrow from special funds. See how the NC Senate's budget compares at: https://governor-new.s3.amazonaws.com/s3fs-public/documents/files/Gov%20Budget%20v%20Senate%20Budget_Memo.pdf

Education Spending
Gov. Cooper calls for increased education spending ($755m) for teacher raises, higher per pupil funding, a classroom supplies stipend for teachers, plus additional flex funding ($20m) for schools to hire additional staff like TAs, nurses and behavioral support. The Senate budget proposes half that amount at $388m and no flex funding. How would cuts here affect you?
Your answer
The recently passed HB13 bill allows school districts to be flexible with class sizes in order to fund the specialist teachers (art, music, PE, etc) for 1 year, with a pledge for funding in future years. However the Senate bill just passed prohibits school districts from moving funds from one area to another to meet needs, which is how specialists have always been paid. If you are a teacher or in public ed., what is happening in your school now to prepare for the upcoming 2017-18 year?
Your answer
School Vouchers
Cooper's plan decreases public funding for voucher programs towards private and parochial schools, vs. a $10m increase every yr. by the Senate. Reports have shown many voucher schools to be unregulated and underperforming.(https://law.duke.edu/childedlaw/School_Vouchers_NC.pdf) Please share your experiences with voucher schools here.
Your answer
Free Community College Tuition
The governor's budget has $20 million in funding for NC GROW, a program to allow tuition free community college for recent HS Grads in good academic standing. The Senate budget does not fund this program. Governor Cooper is also asking for an additional $97 million for Community College funding, vs. less than half ($42m) from the Senate. What is your experience in having better access to a community college education?
Your answer
Pre-K/Smart Start
The governor wants to eliminate the Pre-K wait list for at risk children, adding 4660+ spots over two years, and increase funds for Smart Start by 10%. The Senate budget will keep thousands of children on a wait list by only adding 2,350 spots. How would cuts here affect you?
Your answer
Rural Broadband Access
The governor proposes a $20 million investment in expanding broadband access to rural areas to stimulate new economic development in those areas. The Senate budget will only fund 1/10th of that amount. Why do you believe broadband funding is important to the rural counties of North Carolina?
Your answer
Infrastructure Development
Cooper's budget adds $30 million towards infrastructure for "Ready Sites"; 50-200 acre sites in struggling rural areas to help attract industry. Senate Republicans add no money at all. How would cuts here affect you?
Your answer
Law Enforcement
Governor Cooper wants to help law enforcement officers retire five years earlier. He proposes $7 million in funding to do that. Senate Republicans do not. How would cuts here affect you or your community?
Your answer
Fighting the Opioid Crisis
Governor Cooper proposes $12 million in statewide mental health funding to help combat the opioid crisis, and $2 million to help law enforcement fight opioid abuse, vs $250,000 per yr for a pilot program in Wilmington. Why do you think this funding is important?
Your answer
Funding the SNAP Program
The budget proposed by Governor Cooper has NO reduction in the federally funded SNAP program, which provides food assistance to needy families, and free and reduced lunches to children. The Senate plans to cut 133,000 families (50,000 children). How would cuts here affect you? (Teachers, food bank volunteers, etc. speak up!) Note: SNAP costs NC nothing, and should not even be in this budget.
Your answer
Medicaid Expansion
The Governor plans to expand Medicaid coverage to 624,000 people, at no cost to NC taxpayers, with 95% paid from federal funds and hospitals picking up 5% in return for many new patients. How would cuts here affect you?
Your answer
Environmental Programs
Cooper plans to bolster the state’s clean water fund to $19 million over two years, and put more than $10 million into a parks trust fund. How would cuts here affect you? Have you experienced water issues in your area?
Your answer
The NC Senate bill includes a policy provision to ban any new wind farms in NC until 2020. If you have knowledge or experience in the renewable energy industry please include your insight here.
Your answer
State Employee Raises
The Governor wants pay raises for non-teacher State Employees of 2% or $800, plus a $500 one time bonus. Retirees would receive a one-time 1.5% cost of living adjustment. How would cuts here affect you?
Your answer
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