McCrory: Across-the-board raises for teachers depends on Medicaid rolls

02/24/2014 9:22 AM

02/24/2014 9:23 AM

Gov. Pat McCrory, on a trip to Washington for the National Governors Association, said he wanted pay raises for all teachers, flexibility on Affordable Care Act and approval for seismic testing for oil and gas.

McCrory, speaking in a hotel hallway after the governors left a private lunch meeting Saturday, said his goal is a raise for all North Carolina teachers, but added there were budget limitations.

“My goal is as we look at the budget in the next three months, which is impacted by not knowing what the additions to our Medicaid rolls will be more than anything else,” McCrory said. “See right now it’s very hard to project our future budget because we do not know the addition to Medicaid rolls due to the rollout of the national health care act. So it’s very hard to predict future budget, even this year.

“But our goal is to have a teacher raise for everybody. Our first initial goal has been met and that is to make sure that no teacher will make less than $35,000 a year, which would be the first time in North Carolina history and I’ll be the first governor in five or six years to get at least a large group of teachers more than a 1 percent raise,” he said.

Any raise proposal would have to wait for two or three months until there are new revenue projections, McCrory said.

He said the nation’s governors reached bipartisan agreement that they need more flexibility in waivers on the Affordable Care Act.

“Regardless of how you feel about the policy, the dilemma is the execution is being put on the states with absolutely no flexibility to the 50 states’ unique needs,” he said.

He said that some states were receiving Medicaid waivers, allowing them to devise their own plans, but that there was too much red tape to get them.

McCrory also said he and other governors will meet with Interior Secretary Sally Jewell on Monday to ask for federal approval for seismic testing for offshore oil and gas.

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