Given the recent activities of the North Carolina Senate, cowing to the real estate agents, I have little hope that they will stand up for the working class in North Carolina. The working class are those who are most hard hit by being uninsured and underinsured, it's not the guy making $80,000 a year who decides not to be insured. It's the guy that has two kids and is working a full-time blue collar job. The guy who has seen his winter heat bill quadruple, his gas bill triple, his food bill double, and his health insurance costs grow steeper and steeper for less and less coverage. Those are the people that we need to help in North Carolina. Unfortunately, they don't have big-time paid lobbyists like BCBS. But, they do have a voice.
Chris Fitzsimon, Executive Director of NC Policy Watch is critical of the closed-door process.
It has been written in secret and maybe the Senate Democratic Caucus will go over some of the big spending items in its private meeting, but you can bet there won't be a lot of amendments or protests from most rank and file Democrats about the leadership's plan. Maybe folks are simply used to it by now, but the behind-closed-door budget meetings used to least prompt some criticism from Senators and the news outlets that cover the General Assembly.”
Even more troublesome then the process are the predictions of what is may actually be in the budget.
Here is what Laura Leslie, Capitol Reporter for NC Public Radio, said on her blog:
Senator David Hoyle (D-Gaston) confirms the Senate budget package will be split in two parts – an Approps (spending) bill, and a Finance package. The latter contains $50M in tax cuts, widely rumored to favor the well-heeled (think Gift Tax) over the not-so-much (Earned Income Tax Credit).
Sen Maj. Leader Tony Rand (D-Cumberland) confirms their budget restores full funding for the university system’s requested enrollment increase, and rumor has it there’s also a $20M cut to HHS, a chunk of which comes out of children’s health insurance. And while no one's confirming it, it's a better-than-even bet one of the two Senate spending bills will include the repeal of the Land Transfer Tax, approved yesterday by Senate Finance.
In other words, Democrats are screwing us. So, forget about it, you do not have my support any more North Carolina Democrats. Why in the world should someone vote for you Hagan and Dalton when you are acting like Republicans? Why would they vote for a DINO when they can just vote for the Republican instead?
I'm ashamed of myself, ashamed for believing in the Democratic Party in North Carolina.