Editorial by Fayetteville Observer, June 28, 2015.
North Carolina’s new fiscal year begins Wednesday, but government may wait months for a new budget.
The House and Senate are so far apart – in numbers and philosophy – that they couldn’t even agree on a temporary budget last week to keep government running while they argue. We offer this as a response to anyone who thinks all Republicans think alike.
We also offer it as evidence of problems ahead, even for local government.
That’s especially true for schools, which get most of their funding from the state. School staff will go back to work in just over a month. But which staff? There are broad differences between the House and Senate budgets in their approach to the schools. The House doesn’t adjust staffing, but the Senate version will furlough thousands of teacher assistants and hire a few more teachers.
The ideologues of the Senate are trying to make philosophical changes in state government through the budget. That’s the wrong place to do it, and that’s the main reason for this standoff. Settle those issues through debate and statute. Pass a straightforward budget and argue philosophy of government later.