After only one short week of debate, the House is almost ready to vote their version of the state budget through. Included in the $2.5 billion in cuts are drastic changes to the way almost every State agency does business.
For example, the House budget will:
- Ending free community college courses for developmental programs, incarcerated juveniles, or rehab patients.
- Limiting need-based college financial aid and legislative tuition grants to no more than 4 ½ years enrollment.
- Co-pay for folks using state Mental Health, Developmental Disability, or Substance Abuse services.
- Parents of children in More at Four will have to pay a copay of around 10%.
- The state Health Secretary can reduce or eliminate coverage for hearing aids, dental and optical care or adults and children, chiropractic and podiatric services, prosthetics, physical therapy, and personal/private nursing care.
- No state (or state-administered federal funds) to Planned Parenthood.
- Limits low-income energy assistance grants to only senior citizens near the poverty level and disabled adults.
- No raises for state employees. Some teachers would still be eligible.
- Allows LEAs, community colleges, and the UNC system to furlough employees who make more than $25,000.
- Forbids state dollars from being used to pay for insurance that covers abortion except in case.
Is this really the North Carolina that we want? These are important programs that were hard-won for those of need in this State - we cannot allow this pillaging of North Carolina's safety net to continue.