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NC Republican leaders should be ousted for the way they’re treating state employees

·4 min read

Unsettling raises

Regarding “Some NC lawmakers’ staff get bigger raises than most state employees,” (June 22):

While Senate leader Phil Berger and House Speaker Tim Moore quietly implement 2021 salary increases as high as 31% for their staff members, they predictably recommend a minuscule increase of 3% over two years for teachers and state employees and nothing for state retirees — all during a period of record revenues being raked into state coffers.

Shame on N.C. voters for continuing to reelect these self-serving hypocrites to their positions. Voters need to wake up and pay attention to the economic pain and suffering these so-called leaders continue to inflict upon the majority of hardworking state employees and retirees.

It’s long past time to ensure that Senate leader Phil Berger, House Speaker Tim Moore and their cronies are booted from the N.C. General Assembly at the earliest opportunity.

Jon Gibson, Raleigh

NC retirees

When the fact that the N.C. Senate’s spending proposal did not include a cost-of-living-allowance for the some 300,000-plus N.C. and local government retirees, Senate Leader Phil Berger simply stated, “There is no ongoing promise or mandate that COLAs are provided.” Legally, Berger is correct. I would simply ask him what about a moral or ethical obligation to “do right” by those who spent their professional lives “doing right” for the citizens of our state?

Michael Taylor, Emerald Isle

Biden vaccine tour

President Joe Biden continues to sell the vaccine as a product of his administration, as evidenced by his trip to Raleigh this week.

In March, when speaking about the battle against COVID-19, Biden claimed he inherited “a mess.” By mess, is he referring to the successful COVID-19 vaccine rollout made possible by the work of the Trump administration?

Operation Warp Speed put more than 14 million vaccine doses in American arms by Inauguration Day 2021.

Without the Trump administration’s leadership, there is no telling how far behind North Carolina and our country would be in beating the COVID-19 pandemic.

Donna Williams, Raleigh

Vaccine lottery

Gov. Roy Cooper’s vaccine lottery plan attempts to increase the vaccination rate via a significant amount of money that may influence citizens to receive the vaccine who otherwise would not.

The Belmont Report’s ethical guidance in clinical research states, “...individuals should be treated as autonomous agents ... persons with diminished autonomy (like children) are entitled to protection.” This standard satisfies informed consent, a linchpin in research and medical ethics. But informed consent must be free of coercion and undue influence.

Our fellow citizens’ vulnerability is especially high given the unemployment rates and ridiculous post-secondary tuition costs. Where does justifiable persuasion end and undue influence begin? Should citizens not be able to make health decisions based on benefits, risks and family discussion, not under the hope of receiving an excessive reward?

Bryan Feger, Durham

Voting access

Sens. Richard Burr and Thom Tillis should vote “yes” to open debate on Senate Bill 1 on voter access.

Voting is the bedrock of our representative democracy. We need our senators to have a vigorous debate and discussion.

There are so many ideas that would increase voting participation. Personally, I’d like to see Election Day as a paid federal holiday so every citizen will be free to vote — and volunteer at the polls. I also fully support automatic registration upon getting a driver’s license.

Voters want to hear everyone’s ideas, and to do that we need to have the debate in the Senate.

Leanna Murphy, Durham

Electric vehicles

A huge benefit of supporting the Power Up America campaign and driving an electric vehicle is that you’re not only doing your part to combat man-made climate change, but you aren’t competing with other drivers for gas.

Those long lines during the Colonial Pipeline issue and scrambling to find gas aren’t a problem when you drive an EV.

North Carolina is the ninth most populous state but ranks 16th for EV registrations. It has 3.2% of the overall population, but 5.5% of available charging stations. We can do better as a state by leading the count in EV registrations, like California, Florida and Texas are.

Derek S. Fisher, Durham

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