With the state facing a budget shortfall of $2.4 million, a letter signed by 17 county leaders was sent to area state legislators last week discussing the impact of potential state budget cuts on Scotland County.
Copies were sent to the Raleigh offices of Sen. Bill Purcell, and Rep. Garland Pierce and Rep. G.L. Pridgen.
Signers included Laurinburg mayor Dr. Matthew Block, four members of the Laurinburg City Council, three members of the Scotland County Commissioners, three Scotland County Board of Education members, and various other community leaders. The content of the message was to urge the legislators to keep all options on the table as they grapple with the state budget.
“As you help finalize the state budget, we urge you to put all options on the table to deal with the budget shortfall, including revenue,” the signers stated.
“Simply too much is at risk not to.”
Smart Start and More at Four would receive a 20 percent cut under the House plan, amounting to more than $60 million.
The bill now goes to the Senate before a final version reaches the desk of the governor.
Pierce voted against the measure, while every House Republican and five democrats voted in favor of the budget proposal.
“This budget will devastate education,” Pierce said. “Maintaining education is seed corn, and you’ve got to keep it strong.
“The word is that the Senate will only ‘tweak’ the budget before it goes to the governor. Unless they are doing something that I don’t know about, she will have to veto the budget as it now stands.”