Nobody does "cruelly vindictive" like the NC GOP folks, a state party that
- freely admitted to a voter ID law designed to take votes away from black voters because they voted Democratic,
- moved to strip power from the Governor's office just because the former failed and the state elected a Democrat as governor anyway,
- happily shredded unemployment insurance so badly that the state still doesn't qualify for federal unemployment reimbursement anymore because it doesn't meet minimum standards,
- that legalized discrimination against LGBTQ folks over which bathroom they used,
- and now, the state that stripped a million bucks from education funding for districts that dared to elect Democrats.
N.C. Senate Republicans were visibly upset with Democrats for prolonging the budget debate with amendments during an after-midnight session Friday morning.
As the clock approached 1 a.m., Senate Minority Leader Dan Blue was summoned to the front of the chamber to talk privately with Senate leader Phil Berger. The Senate had rejected five amendments from Democrats to fund their spending priorities, but each time one proposal was shot down, another one was filed.
Senate Rules Chairman Bill Rabon abruptly called for a recess, stopping the proceedings for nearly two hours. GOP leaders headed to a conference room with legislative budget staff, while Democrats – some surprised by the lengthy delay – passed the time with an impromptu dance party in the hall.
The session finally resumed around 3 a.m., and Republican Sen. Brent Jackson introduced a new budget amendment that he explained would fund more pilot programs combating the opioid epidemic. He cited “a great deal of discussion” about the need for more opioid treatment funding.
Jackson didn’t mention where the additional $1 million would come from: directly from education programs in Senate Democrats’ districts and other initiatives the minority party sought.
Yeah, that's right. Because Republicans in North Carolina hate Democratic voters so much, they will punish them for the sin of voting Democratic. Even their goddamn kids have to be punished.
Sen. Erica Smith-Ingram’s rural district in northeastern North Carolina took the biggest hit from the amendment. It strips $316,646 from two early college high schools in Northampton and Washington counties, and it specifically bans state funding from supporting a summer science, math and technology program called Eastern North Carolina STEM.
The Northampton County program has received about $180,000 in recent years to serve 90 high school students, many of whom are African-American and from low-income families.
“I don’t know what motivated the amendment, but it will have a devastating effect on an area that is already suffering,” Smith-Ingram said Saturday, adding that the STEM summer program would shut down if the provision is in the final budget.
Because we're to the point that a program for STEM education in rural areas doesn't get money anymore because those rural areas are black. Period.
The amendment also changes the counties included in a program that offers stipends to teacher assistants who are working on a college degree to get their teaching licenses.
The funding level for the program didn’t change, but seven counties represented by Smith-Ingram and fellow Democratic Sen. Angela Bryant were removed. Instead, the program will only apply to several counties represented by Republican senators.
Like I said, the worst Republican state party in the nation, hands down.