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Teachers group pushes for DHHS salary investigation

The North Carolina Association of Educators called for an investigation Tuesday into raises granted Gov. Pat McCrory’s former campaign aides after the governor called for a freeze on wage hikes.

It’s the legislature’s job to examine “the glaring scandal over taxpayer-funded pay raises,’ said NCAE President Rodney Ellis at a news conference Tuesday morning outside the Legislative Building.

Public attention has focused on two 24-year-old McCrory campaign staffers, Ricky Diaz and Matt McKillip, who went on to work at the state Department of Heath and Human Services for salaries of $85,000 and $87,500.

McCrory has used cost overruns in Medicaid to explain why teachers did not get raises this year, Ellis said, yet the same agency that runs Medicaid is “granting huge raises for the politically connected.”

In the last two weeks, House Minority Leader Larry Hall of Durham and Senate Minority Leader Martin Nesbitt of Asheville called on Republican legislative leaders to hold committee meetings Tuesday to discuss DHHS salaries. Nesbitt said legislators also need to address problems with the new Medicaid claims system called NC Tracks and the difficulties some health care providers have getting paid.

No DHHS-related committee meetings were scheduled.

Jordan Shaw, spokesman for House Speaker Thom Tillis, said the Joint Legislative Oversight Committee on Health and Human Services would be the proper forum for those topics.


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