RALEIGH – The budget for the State of North Carolina is a two-year spending plan, formed in the ‘long’ session and adjusted in the following year’s ‘short’ session. This year is a short session, so the main focus of Republican lawmakers is modifying the budget based on new realities (revenue surplus) and usually working in additional spending like teacher pay raises (as planned).
Even so, the short session has in recent years become quite a long one as the budgeting process extends and extends due to endless amendments. Every lawmaker works the budget process to include pet projects, bring home the bacon, or to simply grandstand via forced amendment votes and floor speeches.
The latter has been a favored tactic of the Democrats on Jones Street due to their position as a super-minority. It’s one way they can get attention for their agenda and score political points in the media against Republicans.
This short session, though, Republican leadership decided they didn’t want to let Democrats play those time-wasting games and thus elected to close the budget to amendments by introducing it as a conference report.
As a result, the Left, and their friends in the media, are losing it.
“Democrats are upset that Republican legislators are mostly excluding them from state budget talks, as it’s unlikely any proposed changes will be adopted once the budget is revealed.
Republican leaders plan to gut an old bill and amend it as a “conference report” to include their budget plans, meaning state lawmakers will have no method for amending the legislation.
Democratic Rep. Darren Jackson, the House minority leader, said the Republicans’ plan amounts to a “secretive process that will prevent input and consideration” from all legislators.
“I am unaware of any instance in modern North Carolina history where the State Budget was amended via a process that did not allow for committee consideration, committee amendments, and floor amendments,” Jackson, who represents Wake County, wrote in an email to Republican leaders.”
The collective Left in the Old North State is crying that this has not been done ‘in modern NC history.’ They’re asserting that Republicans are merely scared of having to vote on teacher pay, or a “fairer” tax plan, and whining that only Republicans were assigned as budget conferees.
More plausible, is that Republicans were not going to subkit to building a stage for the Democrats to use for endless grandstanding during campaign season, drawing out the session, and wasting everyone’s time.
It’s called a super-majority – a.k.a there is no need for Republicans to subject themselves to Democrats’ soapbox speeches and show votes to be reliably parroted by the evening news.
“Shelly Carver, a spokeswoman for Senate leader Phil Berger, said the purpose of the short session is to adjust the two-year state budget that was passed over a six-month period last year — “not to write an entirely new plan.” Republicans hold a supermajority in the House and Senate, so it’s unclear whether Democratic proposals would be adopted even if under a more open process.
“It’s clear Gov. Cooper and legislative Democrats are upset they won’t be able to abuse that process to try to score political points in an election year, but lawmakers of both parties will have the opportunity to vote on the bill and make their voices heard,” Carver wrote in an email.”
These protests from Democrats and their media friends are like a child crying that you won’t let them win.
But guess what, Democrats? This is what elections are for. If you’re policies of endless spending, higher taxes, and bigger government are so popular, then you can take that on the campaign trail on your own dime and see how it plays.
Read more of the collective freak out from the Left in response to a very practical and legal move by Republicans here.