There are plenty of complaints with all of the budget cuts in our state. North Carolina is facing a $3-billion dollar shortfall. Tuesday night, the state House held a public hearing on the new budget. At ten sites across the state, residents could participate in the hearing through a video hookup. In our region, it was in Bladen County.
Through the magic of video technology you could hear and watch people in Charlotte, Winston-Salem and 8 other locations make appeals to the state House. Bladen Community College was the only place to participate in Southeastern North Carolina.
“This is the first time in history that the state House or Senate has asked North Carolina citizens in a public forum for their opinion on the state budget,” said Bladen Community College Dean of Evening Programs Ann Russell.
With drastic budget cuts approaching the Tar Heel State this town hall setting at Bladen Community College attracted 17 participants. As low as that number may seem, it was more than the college expected.
All but two of the participants live in Bladen County – a fireman from Robeson County attended, and Connie Parker, who drove up from Wilmington.
“There is a core of school-based and school-linked health centers in the state that are in danger of closing their doors due to a lack of funding and that’s particularly troubling now due to the increased demand from the uninsured,” Parker said.
Jason Britt, a Bladen Community College student, also had to opportunity to address a statewide audience:
“I was asking for more funding for the community college here and the community colleges all across the state,” said Britt.