In the Dead of the Night: How NC Republicans Used Deception to Hurt Our Teachers
At 1:17 a.m., in what Governor Perdue called an “unprecedented, unconstitutional power grab,” House Republicans used a surprise, late-night congressional session to override Perdue’s veto of SB727, which stops the North Carolina Association of Educators from collecting dues from teachers’ paychecks via payroll deduction.
Not surprisingly, the NCAE has been vocal in our state against the Republican education cuts in the last two years that have ravaged a once great school system that dropped our state to 49th in the nation in per pupil funding. The Republicans are trying to punish NCAE for speaking out against the NC GOP assault on schools, and as noted by the Associated Press, the GOP has done little to refute arguments that the vetoed bill was designed as punishment. Other state employees will still be able to have automatic deductions to their professional organizations (like the Public Service Workers Union and the State Employees Association of North Carolina); “the fact that it picks and chooses one group out of many is a blatant violation of due process,” said Rep. Rick Glazier, D-Cumberland. It’s not by chance that just the NCAE was singled out: the committee actively rejected a change that also would have cut off payroll deductions for all other employee associations including three unions — the State Employees Association of North Carolina, the Teamsters, and the Public Service Worker’s Union.
WRITTEN BY: SAM SPENCER, Young Democrats of North Carolina President
The Republicans made a deal with Democrats earlier in the day, and subsequently broke the deal when they decided to exceed the scope of yesterday’s session. They passed a bill that had already been vetoed and defeated by calling a surprise legislative session that had not been announced to the public.
Republicans lacked the votes to override the veto legitimately, but by early this morning they were able to override Governor Perdue’s veto for the sake of nothing more than political payback. Speaker Tillis said earlier this year that Republicans were pushing this bill to attack the North Carolina Association of Educators because “[we] just want to give them a little taste about what’s to come.” They even had the gall to ask members to pray for Rep. Womble – who is currently in intensive care in Winston-Salem – while blatantly exploiting his absence.
Last year, Speaker Tillis said that “[Republicans] are living up to their commitment to be more transparent.” Unfortunately, this week’s actions speak for themselves: surprise midnight votes are a far cry from “transparency.” Even worse, the multiple recesses and the unnecessary day cost North Carolina up to $55,000; all the while, Representatives were watching football on the taxpayer dime until it got late enough to vote.
Today’s cloak-and-dagger actions are a new low for this General Assembly. Please take action today:
- Contact Speaker Tillis and ask that he apologize for this farce of a session.
- Forward this e-mail to your friends and share it on Facebook & Twitter so that they know what the Republicans did.
- Contribute to our fight to empower young people across the state to fight the radical Republican agenda.
President, Young Democrats of North Carolina