July 17, 2015 Legislative Update
In This Issue…
The General Assembly returned from their week off on July 13 and did no work in public on resolving their budget differences. With the looming expiration of the temporary budget, approving S534, Continuing Budget Authority, on Aug. 14, lawmakers should be racing against the clock; but you wouldn’t know it from the lack of visible budget activity.
What did happen was the appointment of budget conferees – those assigned with resolving the budget differences. The House appointed 82 members on July 14, while the Senate appointed 32 members. These appointments are largely symbolic, as both chambers appointed all members who voted for their respective budgets. The Republican House leadership even appointed Democrats who voted for the House budget. The negotiations will be actually conducted by a handful of members from each chamber.
In the meantime, PENC will continue to advocate for its budget priorities with the House and Senate leadership. Those priorities include meaningful teacher pay raises, restoration of Masters’ pay, preservation of teacher assistants and funding for textbooks, digital resources and supplies and are all relevant to advancing the teaching profession in North Carolina. More importantly, better prepared and supported educators are better for students, who are the heart of PENC’s priorities.
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Submitted by Evelyn Hawthorne
For information about specific issues, please contact PENC government relations consultant Evelyn Hawthorne at firstname.lastname@example.org.