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House | July 1, 2014 | Press Room | Democratic Press Conference

Full MP3 Audio File

Good morning everyone. As you know this is the week of budget or no budget. There is no doubt that Governor McCrorey and the Republican leadership and the legislature calls this education crisis last year when they cut half a billion dollars from our classrooms in order to line the pockets of special interests, out of state corporations, and super wealthy individuals. Now we were here at the start of session, the education crisis was highlighted. And you'll note we have the same graphic here again. Guess the question is why, because nothing has changed. Recognizing the political consequences of this crisis the Governor, Thom Tillis, Phil Berger, all pledged to raise teacher pay this session and be done by July first. Well now it's July first there's no budget. No teacher pay raise. No clear path forward. Not even conferees meeting. Instead we've seen a series of unacceptable proposals meant to offer just election year band aids, instead of of truly supporting our teachers. So we are where we were. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Let me real quickly recap where we found ourselves today. First the governor put forth a budget, an incredibly weak budget I would add, and an unfair proposal that would have offered pay raises to new teachers while leaving our more experienced teachers out. That landed like a lead balloon. So next the Senate leadership claimed to offer the teachers a raise. But at the expense of teacher's assistants and vital resources and support personnel necessary for quality public education in this state. Now this appalling plan also included eliminating healthcare for the blind, the elderly, and the disabled. Then the devious minds over in the House went to work and came back with a proposal to pay for teacher pay raises through increased lottery proceeds. But they simultaneously put a router on the plan that would intentionally suppress the lottery's ability to make money. And when they were told that that plan wouldn't work and couldn't work and would simply leave teachers in the lurch, next year they tried to keep it secret until after the elections. In effect what they were doing is spinning the roulette wheel, gambling with our children's future, the most important thing we do. So we had the weak, we had the inhumane, and the downright dishonest. Then last week, the Governor ?? upstate with a little bit of political theater. Probably appropriate given the summer theater we have in North Carolina. They came out with a spur of the moment plan to raise teacher pay, held an enormous press conference and patted themselves on the back when they passed it through the House. Only they failed to invite or even consult the Senate leadership, which everybody from third grade forward knows is necessary to pass legislation in this state. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Leadership is sometimes a hard thing to do. If you're in leadership, and in this instance the Republican party does have that, then negotiations take time. You have to be responsible. Sometimes feelings get hurt and their egos are a little damaged or bruised. But let's be clear about two things. The crisis in North Carolina schools was caused by Governor McCrorey, Thom Tillis, and Phil Berger. Again, they chose the millionaires and special interests over our students, our teachers, our working people, and the future of North Carolina. Secondly, they're not going to solve this problem by simply talking past each other. Conference committees not meeting, sham budget amendments being passed back and forth between the chambers. It's time to hold open conference negotiations and seriously put teachers first. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Let me emphasize that last point, because we are at a critical stage that I think is really trumping all of this drama that seems to be taking place. The Governor last week announced that if there wasn't a budget by the beginning of July, which is today, or at least Mr. Pope announced, that they're going to manage the budget basically at the lowest level within the two bills that have

...the general assembly. So that simply means, beginning today, if in fact the budget is managed the way the Governor's office indicated, there will be no teacher assistance allocated ?? because that's in the Senate bill. The blind, the disabled, and the elderly will be off of Medicaid, except with various kinds of tests and things that put stumbling stones and other hurdles before them. And all of the negative and bad things in those two budgets collectively will begin taking place. That's unacceptable in North Carolina. Teachers will start reporting, those who work ten month years, in a few weeks. School boards and superintendents don't know how to fix their budgets, they don't know what they're going to be paid, they're still trying to recruit teachers, many of them. I pointed out in our last press conference, Wake County, my county here, was recruiting 900 and some new teachers. You know, imagine what the response is gonna be to the Houston School System's offer when they tell them we don't quite know what you're going to make because the legislature hasn't decided what teacher pay is going to be. A lot of those folks who went to that recruitment fair here a couple of weeks or so ago will start thinking Houston might really look more attractive than they otherwise would have thought. So let me emphasize the point again that Leader Hall made, it's time to open conference negotiations and search to put teachers first. It's time to admit when you've done a bad and start doing the right thing. And this giveaway, last year, out of state corporations, and wealthy folk, got us in this predicament, and it's time to start fixing it so we can address this teacher issue in North Carolina. It's time to stop playing political games. These guys ran for office - I'll mention it again - these guys - ran for office, and it's time to expect them to lead. Leadership isn't easy, it is hard, but when you sign up for it, then you buckle up, and you do the job, and it's time they do this job. Open the negotiations. have people in the negotiations who have some idea of how we get this resolved, and lets work for a non partisan or bipartisan fix to this crisis. Leadership is difficult, but it's not impossible. It just takes the determination to get the result. It's July 1, no conferences meetings are going on, unless you folks learned something since I came in here, of some being scheduled, there's certainly no open ones. I'd like to participate and see what's happening with them. We represent a third of the membership in the Senate, we might could help them a little bit, if they want to ask for it. And so, it's time that we fix this crisis. I've been there, had tough decisions to make, and I know that they can be made and we can move this process along, especially giving the critical nature of what we face now, if the Governor in fact is going to implement his decisions from today forward based on the lowest common denominator in these two budgets. [SPEAKER CHANGES] One last thing, and I would hope that Leader ?? would just talk a little bit about this question that people had about how would an open process, how would an open conference process work, and I think it's something that's been done before, it's worked before, and I think Speaker ??, when you were Speaker [SPEAKER CHANGES] Sure. Again, if you can't make headway in this closed process that they've been participating in, I guess up in room 612, I hear that's where they meet I don't know I've not been around there. But if this process isn't working, it should; revert back to how it should have been in the first place. Open up these conference meetings so we can see what the issues are, what the proposals are, what the suggestions are, whether from the Governor, since he's a player in it now, since he has the power to veto, whether it's from the House side, or whether it's from the Senate side, and let's see what people's responses are. More importantly, let's put sunlight on them, let's basically make them transparent and the people in this state can see how serious we are to getting a real solution to this problem, because until there's something that pushes them off dead center, with hard feelings, and things like that, it's gonna stay deadlocked, and it is too critical for the schoolkids in this state to be deadlocked going into the summer without having a clear idea at least how they will be impacted

Speaker: So we open it up for any situations you might have, Speaker Changes: Senate the government officer have what we are talking about how you manage the budget and realizes the agencies can manage ?? and money around ?? is not what you understand, Speaker Changes: The agencies are limited about the exactly budget ?? we do have budget in place since we have a ?? and in that budget normally would be a budget but i haven't seen a continuing resolution that may be one ?? week admit ?? the that would change any of the things in the budget from last year so we would operate same assumptions on students population we would populate ?? or in the existing budget I'm not quite clear that ?? is gonna shuffles thig around or move around in all the budget is places, Speaker Changes: ??, Speaker Changes: They don't need a miss?? they continuing resolution would give them more authority and would not they you need the budget that would if they gonna change anything it have to be authorized ?? that will be inactive and 2013 will be in place except that ,something without a effect, Speaker Changes: you know the question , Speaker Changes: yes sir, Speaker Changes: ?? legislature you are not gonna make much ?? things like that on the budget what you feel like ?? other than verging republicans and the ?? without anything you can do there has been discussion about they inviting out they ??, Speaker Changes: Well i think first of all we may continue our offers to participate in the process and said continuously ?? and then you can you cant afford to daily necessity ?? we have to do tough budgets we continue asked to be involves ?? they have pointed about the appropriation committee ?? in recent memory in North Carolina has been ?? out the process, Speaker Changes: I think there were multiple ways first i have pointed out ?? four years ago and so the more you have participating have been involved in the process the more it is your are gonna live at the solutions the first place you ?? think since the began of he session ?? i held extended and offered the senate leadership as well as the government ?? now they may be difficult they cant think they useful t i thin k there are lot of people who have some experience ?? in which they are disagreeing on the budget but experiencing dealing with people ?? that might be helpful in some of the stuffs they ?? but more importantly let me underscore the fact that we have been here before we have done this and opened process lead to better solution's ,you know one of the roles that we have heard to and have found to useful is we have a portion of representation and committees include conference committees at one point so we gotta tel you that the folk they did and doing at the way that has been done just quick reviews of how ?? otherwise and when you got people from different,

Speaker:To different view points,you can easily come to some solution that justifies some not 10 let me hear you another critical fact that ?? that's a fundamental thing when you start putting a budget and if you cant agree how much many you really have to spent you have available to pen how are you going to make something fir this is the rest of things affect they may reached ?? we have an obligation to medicate that's haven't reported that's fundamental issue that are holding his pros up i think more people participating ?? that's most interactive and secondly is will move us over the hump and give us this thing up, Speaker Changes:??, Speaker Changes: Because the seeing is everything less in this budget and everything else off course the united states becasue of the ?? institutions starts rebounding mostly ?? and started to make u other ground that was lost ?? we revised everything of federal programs that once we started rebounding that state dollars come in to replace those that has been temporarily substituted federal authorities ?? and in the early ?? teacher pay in this state have gotten ?? but any other to the national level the recession stated beaten up in the first priority should be or should have in before we take up the other article steps that this leadership took that to start bringing teacher pay back that's foundation ?? economic development that has o be the controlling factor ?? in how we controlling recent budget and it's obviously the fact that we ?? over half a billion dollars a year to your very wealthy friends and out of state co operations is not gonna be there when you need it to fund the teacher ?? raise, Speaker Changes: And just a follow point on that ,remember North Carolina hasn't that the ?? it's a national recession and every other state recession ?? have decide to put money back in the education ?? in best in the future and best in the teachers where North Carolina ha she past to delay we are gonna different from everyone else yes if somehow provide the future and be competitive ?? to make sure can raise the salaries ?? poplar here in work of North Carolina we have track on the streak and how business gonna involve in North Carolina we can do it and looking into the rear view mirror and say work nor gonna pay ??? we just gonna go away the store ?? and we have to make those decisions , Speaker Changes: There are many ?? we are stumbling ?? to fix the problems ?? lot of one and lot of money inside the communicative programs so do you think any movement on that is so just tactics to get something ?? two points out of you know and bargain what he say, Speaker Changes: ?? about the senate, Speaker Changes: no no ,i take that it both sides were earnest when they put forth the budget and again since they control pretty tightly at the circle,

Speaker: Peoples who influencing their beliefs and opinions the budget their belief and so i belie when the senate passed over the budget they believe that they are not teacher's assistance i believe when the senate leadership republicans in the senate passed the budget they believe the blind and disable are not qualified educated systems except ?? circumstances i believe that they seriously increase ?? they didn't find the teachers where actually we find truly believe the things that they put in the budget likewise i believe the house when they Fred ?? choose up the lottery numbers they believed that ?? lot of people's mind and miracles had happen i was working up here earlier today and i keen by the museum of history my office of ?? came up it go ?? the debacle is just about ?? meadow plants that is a miracle ,we watch it season in season out miracles do happen so i believe these budget put together strange miracles will make it right i believe they fairly believe in what they put in this budget this is what they tie themselves to and i think the governor will need to propose that budget is been a long time ago sometime back before apply i guess budget stall ?? of elected body whether you are city council or county commission school boards or general assembly our budget what their values are so their budget tells they believe in mind , Speaker Changes: Any other questions,thank you,