Senate holding out on pay raises, COLAs in budget negotiations

Jun 24, 2016

Budget negotiations are almost complete. Legislators are getting antsy, and the only thing holding them back from going home are state employee raises and retiree cost-of-living adjustments.

Lawmakers on both sides insist they will finish the budget in the coming week, with a goal of leaving town before the July 4 holiday. And yet, they continue to make this whole thing harder on themselves than it has to be.

As you know, the House included a modest 2-percent raise and $500 bonus for active employees and a 1.6-percent COLA for retirees in its budget. But while conservatives harp on a supposed $1.2 billion surplus they have built, Senate leaders are steadfast in their opposition to raises for state employees and COLAs for retirees.

It should be a no-brainer for them. Pay raises and COLAs would cost less than 20-percent of that surplus. To not get increases with such a large surplus would be outrageous.

It’s time for SEANC members to appeal to a higher power. And it’s time for that higher power to come through for us. We're talking, of course, about Gov. Pat McCrory.

We need you to contact Gov. McCrory directly and demand he put pressure on the Senate to see the light. The governor, after all, has the power to veto the budget. Demand that Gov. McCrory support the House's proposal at a minimum.

As District 39 member Mark Dearmon says in the video below, it's time to contact the governor at 919-814-2000 or visit to tell him that state employees and retirees deserve to be a part of the "Carolina Comeback" that has up to now left us out!

As SEANC Lobbyist Suzanne Beasley said in the video above, “It’s hot in Raleigh, but we can turn the heat up a little more on them. Please call.” Click here to find your legislator’s contact information, and please contact them as well this weekend before it’s too late.