Monday, June 16, 2014

Counter to Senate Leader Phil Berger's Claims, the Forward Together Moral Movement's Agenda Would Be Revenue Neutral if Introduced Tomorrow


June 16, 2014


Contact: Sarah Bufkin, NC NAACP - or 404.285.3413



RALEIGH, NC - If the People had their way and could introduce a budget amendment that repeals the General Assembly's regressive policies, and that aligns with the state's deepest moral and constitutional values, such a proposal could be revenue neutral, experts at the North Carolina Budget & Tax Center say.


Senate Leader Phil Berger and his team have claimed that they put together a budget amendment that would meet the Forward Together Moral Movement's agenda and that the cost ran into the billions. First, Senator Berger told this to the teachers. Then his friend and political ally, Dallas Woodhouse, told it to whomever would step away from the Moral Monday crowd today and listen. 


But when the experts at the NC Budget & Tax Center looked at this budget amendment and aligned it with the Moral Agenda, they came to a wildly different conclusion - that our calls for the North Carolina legislature to look after the sick, the poor, workers, people of color, women, teachers, students, the disabled, and other minorities would be revenue neutral. 


In fact, if lawmakers passed the Moral Budget, North Carolina would see about $100 million in extra revenue that we could put towards supporting the least of these and turning our state around. 


"What this analysis from the NC Budget & Tax Center shows us is that we can repeal and reverse course in North Carolina away from these regressive policies; we only miss the political will to do so," said Rev. Dr. William J. Barber, II, president of the North Carolina NAACP. "Senate Leader Berger has distorted the numbers in order to avoid doing the moral thing in this State House, but we will not be fooled and we shall not be moved from our petition to stop helping corporations and the wealthy at the expense of hardworking families." 


A full account of the NC Budget & Tax Center's findings can be found HERE. The Center's Director, Alexandra Sirota, can be made available for comment tomorrow. 


"Barring two sections which have no basis in the Moral Monday agenda, the proposal is not only revenue neutral but provides for additional revenue to meet the state's pressing needs that have been unaddressed since the start of the Great Recession," the NC Budget & Tax Center concluded. "It is clear that there is a fiscally responsible path forward for meeting the priorities of North Carolinians to ensure that the state's most vulnerable citizens can access health insurance, our children can be ready and prepared to learn at school with quality childhood experiences, our workforce can be trained for the jobs of the future, working families can be supported as they struggle to get by on low-wages and the human rights and ability to access a fair justice system for all North Carolinians can be protected." 







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