NC Senate Republicans rolled out their version of this session’s budget Tuesday and the full Senate is likely to vote on it by the end of this week. In the House, a few Democrats sided with the Republican’s plan despite its failings, including a refusal to extend a raise to teachers with fewer than 16 years of experience. In the Senate’s version, teacher pay raises are even smaller. The Republican budget appears to again ignore the struggles of local school districts, like those in Greene and Pitt counties, to keep pace with state and national levels.
Public schools in Senator Don Davis’s district are struggling while he supports Republican education budgets. Greene and Pitt counties can’t keep up with wealthier counties on teacher pay, ranking 108 and 82 out of 115, respectively, for average teacher pay. Average teacher pay in Greene county is $48,965.53, more than $5,000 less than the statewide average. In Pitt county, average teacher pay is more than $3,000 less than the statewide average.
Counties have been forced to make up for low teacher pay at the state level by offering salary supplements to teachers. According to Public School Forum, the average supplemental salary statewide is $4,580. Greene county’s supplement is just $1,000 while Pitt’s is $2,382. Lackluster state budgets have put county governments in a difficult position where they have to choose between offering competitive teacher salaries or providing other vital services to residents. This year’s proposed budget calls for a slight teacher raise, but it only applies to teachers with at least 16 years of experience and does not go into effect immediately. The Senate’s version of this year’s budget also fails to restore advanced degree pay for teachers.Read More
Dan Bishop (R- Mecklenburg) is serving his second term in the NC Senate. Prior to joining the NC Senate, Bishop was a representative in the NC House for one term.
Bishop repeatedly voted against making health care more affordable and accessible for North Carolinians.He was the only NC Senator to favor big pharmaceutical companies over North Carolinians and vote against H384, a bill that protected small community pharmacists and kept prescriptions affordable. Bishop, along with other Senate Republicans, chose to amend a school safety bill to include provisions intended to destabilize the Affordable Care Act, once again failing to protect North Carolinians’ health care.
Bishop was a primary sponsor of HB2, demonstrating how little he cares about protecting the LGBTQ+ community in NC. Not only did HB2 fail to protect the LGBTQ+ community, but it also cost the state hundreds of millions of dollars. Bishop was more than willing to prioritize his discrimination against the LGBTQ+ community above the NC economy.
In 2015 Bishop voted to increase taxes on NC families and small business owners, making it more expensive to do business, get a driver’s license, and have a baby. He also voted to cut food stamps for 100,000 North Carolinians. Read more here.Read More
Rep. Steve Ross (R-Alamance) is running for a fourth term in the North Carolina House of Representatives.
In a new ad, Ross claims he’s made several legislative decisions that help Alamance County: boosting teacher pay, safeguarding schools, protecting clean water and cutting income tax for 99 percent of families. His record proves otherwise.
Mike Clampitt is currently serving his first term in the NC House of Representatives for HD119 and lives in Bryson City, NC.Before finally winning election to the General Assembly in 2016, Clampitt ran unsuccessfully for public office several times. Losing twice in races for NC House and losing a 2010 bid for the Swain County Board of Commissioners.
North Carolina public schools are the largest employer in most of Clampitt’s district. Despite this, he supported bills that shortchange teachers and prioritize tax cuts for the wealthy over funding classrooms. Despite not being in office, he was an outspoken supporter of the 2013 budget, even though he was not in office. Clampitt voted for the 2017 budget which prioritized tax cuts for corporations over raising teacher pay and per pupil spending, forcing teachers to pay out of pocket for classroom supplies.
Clampitt voted to block an amendment that would have expanded access to health care for low-income, rural North Carolinians. He has the wrong priorities, voting for policies that benefit wealthy corporate interests over the people of HD119 who are working hard to make ends meet. All three counties Clampitt represents have a higher percent poverty rate than the statewide average along with a higher childhood poverty rate and a lower median income.
Clampitt voted for bills that roll back environmental protections, putting North Carolina’s natural resources and drinking water in jeopardy. He voted in favor of the “garbage juice” bill and for other bills that make it easier for large corporations to pollute North Carolina’s air, soil, and water.
Read on for more about Clampitt’s record during his first term in the NC House.
“Clampitt said that if elected he would not support more dollars for schools.” -Sylva Herald, 12/27/13
Scott Stone was appointed to House District 105 in May 2016 and won the election for the seat in November of the same year.He does not have any prior political experience, as he lost the race for Charlotte Mayor in both 2015 and 2011 and lost a race for Arlington County Board (VA) in 1996.
Stone is out-of-touch with his constituents. He added $287,000 worth of “housekeeping buildings” to his $459,500 home, meanwhile, he voted for bills that make it difficult for North Carolinians to get ahead. Stone blindly followed his party’s lead, voting to block an amendment that would have expanded Medicaid for several North Carolinians and voting in favor of several other bills that fail to protect working families in NC. He opposed raising the minimum wage and did not want to allow affordable housing near his south Charlotte neighborhood.
Despite boasting about the fact that he has children in the NC public school system, Stone has repeatedly voted for bills during his short time in office that fail to adequately fund public schools. He claims diversity in schools is a “politically driven issue” and opposes busing to increase diversity in Charlotte-Mecklenburg schools, claiming it is “not the answer.” Stone said, “the legislature is responsible for the education of students across the state,” but he has voted for Republican budgets that continue to fail NC’s education system.
Following the shooting in Parkland, FL, Stone followed his party’s lead and voted against amendments made by Democrats to a school safety bill that would have added gun-control restrictions. Stone prioritized gun rights over the safety of children at school. He once again proved he is out of touch with North Carolinians and will blindly follow the Republican party at any cost.
Click here for more about Stone's record.
During a House disaster relief committee meeting on Monday, legislators discussed how to help North Carolinians who suffered tremendous losses from Hurricane Matthew and how to prevent disasters in the future. During this discussion, Rep. Jimmy Dixon (R-4) claimed victims in North Carolina are relying on the government too much.
“The number one problem is I think we’ve lured ourselves into complacency and we’ve allowed the public to think that any time a disaster occurs, it’s the government’s responsibility to get us out of the disaster.”
Making the Middle Class Tax Shift Permanent
S75 – The “Millionaires Protection Act” is meant to make Republican Politicians radical tax shift from those at the top to working families permanent
The “Millionaires Protection Act” would put a constitutional amendment on the ballot that locks in income tax rates that largely benefit the wealthy – over the last four years the average millionaire saved almost $15,000, while the average family saved only $6 (that’s SIX dollars) a year from the tax changes enacted by Republican politicians.
In order to lock in these huge tax cuts for millionaires, Republican politicians will also be locking in current education funding that is lower per student than it was before the recession and causes North Carolina to be ranked 45th for teachers in the country.Read More
In this Real Facts Legislator Profile, we focus on Representative Linda Johnson, the Republican from District 83. One of the “top budget-writers”, Johnson serves as a chairman of the House Appropriations Committee and the House K-12 Education Committee. Before being elected…Read More
Real Facts NC’s legislator profile series continues to examine key North Carolina legislators. Here we look at Republican Representative Mike Clampitt, a Republican representative from House District 119 in Haywood, Jackson, and Swain Counties. Clampitt, a freshman legislator, had run twice before against incumbent Joe Sam Queen for H119 before finally beating Queen by around 300 votes in November 2016. Before being a perennial candidate Clampitt worked at the legislature.
In his first term in the NC House, Clampitt has quickly forgotten his district, supporting economic policies that benefit the weathly over working families in his district. Read more on Clampitt here.
This unconstitutionally elected Republican majority continues to legislate, not on behalf of the people of North Carolina, but on behalf of their billionaire backers. Instead of protecting the middle class and building world-class public schools, this budget gives tax breaks to billionaires. Under this budget, North Carolina will keep falling behind when it doesn’t have to.
In addition to education, the GOP budget fails to provide for critical areas of need for rural North Carolina - including broadband and economic development..
The GOP budget also wastes money on projects of the extreme right: