Editorial: Clock ticking on lawmakers who will need togetherness

Lawmakers could help us all by getting into the spirit this month.

February? Valentine’s and all that pink stuff?

Well, love might not be the operative word, but we need some things to come together in Washington and Raleigh.

The red, white and blue is starved for better days. We need some cooperation to happen in the hallowed halls of both cities.

The Beltway is more urgent. The recently halted government shutdown was brutal, and not just on the workers.

There’s a three-week window for either a deal or a promise this won’t happen again soon.

Remember, federal employees and contractors have landlords and small businesses that depend on their dollars. With no paychecks, they didn’t have the dollars. Same for landlords and small businesses.

Closing our nation’s iconic landmarks was just plain embarrassing. There’s no other way to put it.

Granted, in a $20 trillion economy, we’ll agree with White House economic advisor Larry Kudlow that it is hard to fully quantify the effect.

Should he or anyone else say the impact was none or very little, however, it would be disingenuous.

In Raleigh, there’s a little more time. That said, welcome back to the July 1 budget deadline being unlikely to happen. We’ve seen it routinely when the party controlling both chambers of the General Assembly doesn’t match the party in the Governor’s Mansion.

Vetoes can now stick. And this summer the two-year spending plan promises to be a heckuva fight.

Expansion of Medicaid will be a hot topic, as will be school construction funding.

Educational needs are likely to come before us in the form of a nearly $2 billion bond. As discussed so far, it’s likely to help K-12 schools, community colleges and the University of North Carolina System. We could see it on the 2020 ballot.

Another matter to which we’ll pay close attention is the governor’s desire to make eastern North Carolina more resilient to hurricanes. Moving homes off flood plains, flood control and municipal waste treatment plants are elements of the plan.

One thing he won’t do is stop Mother Nature from hitting the region again.

Important but less likely to stir as much passion are the release — and what happens after — of prison safety recommendations. Recent attacks on correctional officers and staff suggest some kind of action is needed, one that will cost money.

Republicans and Democrats, in no particular order, are going to have to work together in Raleigh. No longer does one party have full run of the place. All of these are important matters.

Our hope is those we’ve elected and sent to represent us will do just that — represent us, not the party. We’ve had enough of that lately. See: Washington, D.C.

It’s February, a month for sharing and getting together. Maybe the pols will get in the spirit as well.