Senator Jerry Tillman: Too Big For His Britches

The Republicans in Raleigh are up to no good...again. This time, Jerry Tillman, the Senate Majority Whip who represents Moore County, is spinning stories faster than the press can report them.

Last week, The Pilot, Moore County's newspaper, reported on a bill that Tillman is sponsoring that will shift where lottery dollars are spent on school construction. The legislation is designed to divert more money to counties who need help with building or improving schools. A good idea on it's face, but it doesn't seem that Tillman knows what counties will even be affected. In fact, his own Moore County will not see any of the additional lottery funds. In a time when the county is actively pursuing the Advanced Career High School and 3 new elementary schools--at a cost of $15 million--Moore County could use all the assistance they can get to make educational opportunities for the community the best they can be.

Tillman's response? In an interview with The Pilot, he admitted to not even knowing how Moore County would be affected. He didn't even know how his own constituents would be affected.

Tillman has been a politician for too long and has forgotten about the people who elected him. Instead, he has chosen to support and reward the wealthiest North Carolinian's. He has touted his "Billion Dollar Middle Class Tax Cut" bill all over the state, but he's not told anyone the most important details.

He hasn't told anyone that the middle and working class actually get the short end of the stick with the "tax cuts". A person making over a million dollars a year will see their taxes cut by over $4,000. Someone making between $75k and 100k only sees a cut of $110. 

Last week, the non-partisan Fiscal Research Division reported that by 2021, if Tillman's bill passes, North Carolina would see a $600 million shortfall between tax revenue and necessary items in the state budget. This means more critical services will be on the chopping block.

Tillman hasn't told anyone that these severe tax cuts will hurt our schools and force school boards to, once again, shift the burden of lack of resources onto the students. Instead of investing in teachers and children, the Senate instead has chosen to promote a budget that will force schools to eliminate arts and physical education programs. The Observer reported that many of these teachers are already skimming the classified for new jobs.

In an interview with WRAL, Tillman shrugged off the negative impact on our children, saying the Republican budget makes schools more "accountable." This from the same man who supported spending tens of millions of dollars on private school vouchers who lack any transparency or accountability.

After 16 years as a Senator, Jerry Tillman has gotten too comfortable in his seat. He has become out of touch with the real needs of his constituents...that is, when he can remember who his constituents even are. Moore County deserves better.

Sinclair, Davis. "New Bill Bypasses Help For Moore Schools." The Pilot, Southern Pines. March 28, 2017.

Owens, Adam. "Teachers call on lawmakers to relax class size requirements." WRAL, Raleigh, NC. April 19, 2017.