"Tillis is at it again."

Cross posting from Progressive Pulse:

House Speaker Thom Tillis is at again, telling an audience at a town hall meeting in Matthews Monday that the Republican budget cut too much, as if he is powerless to do anything about it.

Tillis also said lawmakers “disproportionately” cut money for early-childhood programs. In the name of efficiency, lawmakers combined a pre-kindergarten program known as More at Four with Smart Start. Both are aimed at helping poor and at-risk students. They cut $16 million from the pre-kindergarten budget and $37.5 million from Smart Start.

Tillis said the money for students in third grade and younger is inadequate.

If Tillis really believes that, why doesn’t he fix it? The House and Senate have held several special sessions since the budget was passed and have ignored a court order to make NC Pre-K available to all at-risk four-year-olds.


Tillis was asked about further Medicaid funding cuts Monday

MHA's Director of Public Policy & Community Programs, Kathryn Falbo-Woodson, was in the crowd and posed the first question of the evening [at the CPCC Town Hall meeting] to Speaker Thom Tillis of Cornelius in Mecklenburg County.

"Advocates are very concerned about the lack of available mental health services, and the potential of more cuts and reduced services for the many more individuals who will be in need of them in the future," commented Falbo-Woodson.

Speaker Tillis said, "the Department of HHS has reported a potential increase of 400,000 to 800,000 individuals eligible for Medicaid next year." This fact, coupled with an already crippled system and reduced Medicaid funding will not be sufficient to take care of North Carolina's most vulnerable populations.

Tillis remarked that NC's expansion of the [Medicaid MH/DD/SAS] Waiver is a response to cut costs and provide a more adequate structure for the delivery of services.

Falbo-Woodson also questioned the stance of lawmakers in reference to the US Department of Justice's thorough investigation, finding that NC is out of compliance with the Olmstead Court Decision and therefore in violation of the Americans with Disabilities Act.

Tillis said that lawmakers are working with the Department of HHS to respond appropriately and meet the needs.

Frankly, Tillis' answers are totally evasive, wrong, and totally BS. As a mental health services provider from Durham commented to me on FaceBook, it's just a case of your classic "bait and switch" marketing by the GOP leadership.

As reported by WRAL and NC Policy Watch, Tillis had said as recently as mid-November that services under DHHS would be maintained without further cuts to reimbursement rates for providers or further reductions in services to clients. See stories at wral.com

Martha Brock

My letter to the Editor re: Tilis and NCGA cohorts

"To Be, Not to Seem” is North Carolina's state Motto. It appears in the State Seal embedded in the entrance to the state’s legislative building.

Do the GOP leaders of the NC General Assembly just walk past that motto without ever reading it? That would appear to be the case given two separate, but equally important events that took place Monday.

In Charlotte at the local community college at a Town Hall meeting, Speaker of the House Thom Tillis (R-Mecklenburg) bemoaned the cuts to early childhood programs Smart Start and More at Four. He spoke as if he had not be presiding over the House, when those cuts were passed by a GOP majority.

In Raleigh, after promises were made in November at the Health & Human Services Legislative Oversight Committee by Rep. Nelson Dollar (R-Wake) and other GOP leaders, yesterday, the NCGA leaders reneged on their promises to use rainy day funds or find funding to plug the budget hole.

Martha C. Brock
101 Maywood Ave.
Raleigh, NC
919-622-2756 (Cell)

Martha Brock