Youngest North Carolinians Impacted by High Speed Budget Bill
Wednesday, May 30, 2018
RALEIGH, N.C. – It's full speed ahead for the Republican-backed state budget released late Monday night.
The procedure typically takes weeks to allow for input, review and committee meetings, and opponents are worried it's the state's children who are getting run over in the process.
Early childhood education programs are expected to feel the impact.
Lawmakers had more than $75 million in federal money available to expand early learning opportunities and nearly two-thirds of that is being allocated for other purposes.
Rob Thompson, deputy director of the advocacy group NC Child, says it's a missed opportunity.
"Right now we've got about 50,000 children on a waiting list for child care subsidies,” he points out. “By diverting that $50 million, several thousand of these children on the waiting list right now aren't going to be able to move off that waiting list."
Republican legislative leaders say they plan to refuse any amendments to the budget bill.
The federal money comes from $2.4 billion allocated by Congress in February, signed by President Donald Trump and championed by U.S. Sen. Richard Burr of North Carolina.
Thompson says the average cost of child care in North Carolina is $17,000 a year, well above what many parents can afford.
"Parents really have a Catch 22 when it comes to child care,” he states. “The jobs that a parent might have to take could pay so little that it's actually going to lose them money to put a child into child care because child care is so expensive."
There are also major differences between Gov. Roy Cooper's budget and that proposed in the State Assembly.
Among them, Cooper proposes $130 million to increase school safety, and the Republican budget proposes $35 million.
With regards to mental health staffing, Cooper proposes $40 million, while the Republican budget proposes $10 million.
Most of the money the Republican budget allocates for school safety and health improvement is only budgeted for one year.
get more stories like this via email
RICHMOND, Va. - Virginia's General Assembly Special Session begins today to budget more than $4 billion in federal COVID relief funds, and advocates …
ROSLINDALE, Mass. - A new report finds Massachusetts residents would rather repair electronic devices than send them to landfills, but manufacturers …
DENVER-During the COVID health emergency, the federal government made school meals available for free to all students, regardless of their financial …
HELENA, Mont. - COVID-19 is underscoring the importance of ensuring that people's estates are in order, but estate planning can be be tricky for …
CONCORD, N.H. - New polling finds many New Hampshire voters think it's important that wealthy individuals and corporations pay what's described as …
AMARILLO, Texas - The American Farm Bureau Federation hosts more than 100 college level chapters across 35 states, but this is the first time its …
ELIZABETH CITY, N.C. - As activists mark more than 100 days of protest since the April 21 death of Andrew Brown Junior - killed outside his Elizabeth …
Health and Wellness
GREENSBORO, N.C. - Local health departments that rely heavily on Advanced Practice Registered Nurses say the costly contract requirement that they be …