In response to the state budget proposal, the North Carolina Student Power Union finds it necessary to remind Gov. Pat McCrory, state budget director James “Art” Pope, and the members of the state Legislature of the purpose of our state government: to serve all the people of North Carolina.
Massive budget cuts to education and social programs will have disproportionately negative consequences for people of color, youth, women and poor and working families. Together these groups decidedly outnumber the few wealthy individuals who alone will benefit from schemes such as repealing the estate tax. The UNC system already suffered a $414 million loss in funding during the 2011-2012 academic year, resulting in big tuition increases. To call on our public universities to absorb an additional $135 million in cuts is unacceptable.
Unemployment benefits were already cut by $780 million recently, and federally funded Medicaid for thousands of low-income North Carolinians that would have saved our state millions was refused by NC legislators. In a state where one in six residents live in poverty and workers are not guaranteed a living wage, restricting access to education and aid for those already struggling is a step backward. Corporations and the wealthy should pay their fair share so that our society’s essential programs can be fully funded.
The North Carolina Student Power Union invites all North Carolinians to join us in demanding that our public officials prioritize meeting the basic needs of the people.
— Evan Kolosna
N.C. Student Power Union