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Video: Senate budget ignores the needs of rural North Carolina

Earlier this week, Sen Phil Berger told the crowd at Rural Day that the Senate remains focused on “how we can improve the life of hard-working folks like you and your families” such as “confronting the opioid crisis” and creating common senses change that “enables rural North Carolina to thrive just like the rest of North Carolina.

Apparently, he forgot to tell his budget writers because the Senate budget clearly cares more about millionaire’s than rural communities. 

  • Broadband. Despite the desperate need to expand access to high-speed internet in rural, underserved portions of the state, the Senate budget calls for a paltry $250,000 increase for the state’s Broadband Office. Governor Cooper’s budget, on the other hand, called for an additional $20 million to increase access and improve service in Tier 1 and 2 counties — the poorest counties in North Carolina.
  • Economic development. Major manufacturers who locate in rural areas can be transformational for the economy of an entire region. The Senate plan spends only an additional $2.5 million preparing potential manufacturing sites for development. Governor Cooper called for an additional $30 million for his Ready Site program targeted at Tier 1 and Tier 2 counties.
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Phil Berger 2020?

Senate Leader Phil Berger could be eyeing a change in job title in 2020. Berger was first elected to the State Senate in 2000. He became Senate Minority Leader in 2004 and President Pro Tem in 2010. Could he be looking to rise to a new level in 2020? It certainly seems like Berger could be laying the groundwork for the next statewide election.

Via @ncpolmail

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Berger a No Show for Guilford County Delegation Town Hall

Senate Pro Tem Phil Berger was the target of pointed criticism on Thursday when he disappointed constituents by not showing up at a scheduled town hall meeting in Guilford County.

Many constituents wanted to voice their concerns to Sen. Berger and expressed disappointment that he did not attend the “town hall” to answer to his constituents

One constituent commented on the lack of response from Sen. Berger’s office saying, “…I have sent many email messages on your pages and I have sent many phone calls to your offices, such as Phil Berger’s and Trudy Wade’s…But I’ve gotten no return calls or messages, so that gives me zero confidence in those senators.”

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