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Senate education leader blasts AG Stein’s ‘defense’ in Leandro case

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RALEIGH — A high N.C. Senate education leader is criticizing Attorney General Josh Stein for his dealing with of the state’s protection in the long-running Leandro faculty funding lawsuit.

“AG Stein tosses 200 years of legal precedent as he endorses lawless maneuvering to enact Gov. [Roy] Cooper’s preferred budget plan via court order,” reads a subheadline in a information launch Tuesday from Sen. Deanna Ballard, R-Watauga. Ballard chairs the Senate’s Education/Higher Education Committee.

“Tomorrow, Judge David Lee will violate the state Constitution and 200 years of legal precedent by ordering the executive branch to withdraw $1.7 billion from the state treasury over the objections of the legislature,” in accordance with the discharge. It references a Wednesday afternoon listening to scheduled in entrance of Lee, the retired Union County choose who oversees Leandro proceedings.

“Attorney General Josh Stein’s ‘defense’ against this lawlessness was to claim the words in the Constitution from 1868, ‘The people have a right to the privilege of education,’ are actually a specific appropriation of funds in the year 2021,” Ballard’s information launch continues.

Ballard accuses the legal professional common of ignoring courtroom precedent. “Stein’s ‘defense’ is to overturn the N.C. Supreme Court’s ruling just 11 months ago that plainly stated, ‘The power of the purse is the exclusive prerogative of the General Assembly, with the origin of the appropriations clause dating back to the time that the original state constitution was ratified in 1776.’”

The state Supreme Court was not alone in recognizing the legislature’s energy to regulate selections about state authorities spending. “Stein’s ‘defense’ also overturns a 2018 ruling from N.C. Court of Appeals that stated even more plainly, ’ … the Separation of Powers clause prevents the judicial branch from reaching into the public purse on its own,” in accordance with Ballard’s launch. “Appropriating money from the State treasury is a power vested exclusively in the legislative branch and no money shall be drawn from the State treasury but in consequence of appropriations made by law.”

Ballard titled her launch “The Circus Continues.” “Attorney General Stein’s ‘defense’ is yet more evidence that this circus is all about enacting Gov. Cooper’s preferred spending plan over the objections of the legislature, the only branch legally authorized to make spending decisions.”

State-funded Ok-12 education appropriations elevated 40% since Republicans took management of the General Assembly in 2011, in accordance with the discharge. “According to the National Education Association, growth in per-pupil expenditures in North Carolina over the last decade exactly mirrors growth in the rest of the country.”