The following is a letter to the Herald Citizen from N.C. Sen. Natasha Marcus, a Democrat whose district includes Huntersville, Cornelius and Davidson
For the last several weeks, North Carolinians have watched budget talks drag on as General Assembly Republicans have refused to come to the table to negotiate with the governor to pass a budget that puts North Carolina families and communities first. Instead, they’ve put forth a budget that puts corporate tax breaks over people and our state’s future. And instead of engaging in good faith negotiations, they’ve resorted to silly political games, even auctioning off state agencies in exchange for votes, and then left the country for an extended trip abroad. These stunts won’t help our community. A responsible budget compromise will.
The GOP conference budget spends more on corporate tax breaks than on higher teacher pay. It includes a slush fund that promises projects that may never be built rather than using a school bond at today’s historically low interest rates to help build new schools responsibly. And, it fails to do anything to close the coverage gap that would make healthcare more accessible for working people and more affordable for everyone who already has insurance.
Gov. Roy Cooper has offered a responsible compromise that invests more in public education and expands healthcare, while cutting taxes, saving for the future and balancing the budget. The Republicans’ refusal to negotiate is hurting our communities. For example, in Mecklenburg county, expanding Medicaid would create almost 3,751 new jobs, insure approximately 64,281 more people by 2022 and generate $999.6 million in economic growth from 2020-2022.
I want to vote for a budget that will move our community forward. And I’m ready to join Governor Cooper to find common ground with my Republican colleagues. It’s time for Republican leaders to put an end to the political games and join us at the negotiating table.
– Sen. Natasha Marcus