Proposed NC Budget Still Lacks Money For Black History Monument

Proposed NC Budget Still Lacks Money For Black History Monument

3:08pm Aug 11, 2021
Senator Gladys Ashe Robinson serves the 28th district (parts of Guilford County, North Carolina) in the North Carolina General Assembly. She was first elected in 2010. Photograph courtesy of NC General Assembly website.

Several big differences remain between the House and Senate versions of North Carolina’s roughly $26 billion budget including teacher raises, tax cuts, and emergency powers. But one area of agreement — at least for now — is to not provide funds for a monument to African Americans on the historic State Capitol grounds.

The plan to teach Capitol visitors — primarily school children — about Black history has been in the works for several years, with $2.5 million allocated for the monument in Gov. Roy Cooper’s 2019 budget. Last year, the money was left out by Senate lead budget writer Republican Brent Jackson, who cited ongoing Black Lives Matter protests, vandalism, and removal of existing monuments as reasons for not moving forward.

Democratic Senator Gladys Robinson says North Carolina has not done a fair job of recognizing and funding the historic sacrifices and current needs of African Americans who helped build this state.

“There is not equity,” says Robinson. “Not equity in recognition, education, minority businesses, our HBCUs. So, I think excuses can always be made as they have been in the past, but we have the funds in North Carolina and those funds belong to everybody.”

Robinson says she’s been told that Republicans plan to bring the budget back to the Senate next week for negotiations. She adds that she and her fellow Democratic colleagues hope to be a part of those deliberations.

 

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