House, Senate and governor's spending plans differ on key points

Posted June 13, 2014

NC Flag, Legislative Building, Raleigh

— The state budget process entered its final leg Friday when the House approved a $21 billion spending plan. That bill will return to the Senate, where members will almost certainly reject it next week. 

That will trigger a conference committee through which a select group of lawmakers will try to reconcile the House and Senate plans, taking into account the governor's budget request as well. 

Although there are dozens, if not hundreds of small differences between the two bills, finding a compromise will likely hinge on some key differences – both large and small.  

Teacher salaries

McCrory: Takes the first step toward a long-term plan to revamp the teacher pay scale. In the short term, the minimum salary for teachers with no experience would be set at $33,000. Teachers in their first seven years of work would have pay raises of roughly 6 percent, while teachers with 13 years or more of experience would see raises of roughly 2 percent. 

State budget House gives final approval to $21.1B budget

Senate: Senators would give hefty raises to teachers who voluntarily relinquish their tenure rights. The average raise would be about $5,800, depending on their seniority. Teachers who retain their tenure rights would not get the raises outlined by the Senate budget. To pay for that raise, senators would cut funding for roughly half of the teaching assistants in elementary school classrooms. 

House: House leaders pay for an average 5 percent teacher pay raise by boosting the amount of money coming from the state lottery. It does not cut teaching assistant positions, and unlike the Senate budget, House members do not tie the prospect of raises to relinquishing tenure. 

State employee salaries

McCrory: Gives most employees a total compensation boost of $1,000 – $809 in salary and the rest in benefits. State troopers, magistrates and court clerks would also get pay bumps.

Senate: The Senate budget for state employees largely mirrors McCrory's proposal, granting most employees a $1,000 compensation boost. 

House: The House budget puts a full $1,000 toward raises for state employees – for a total of more than $1,200 in additional compensation once benefits are taken into account. It also gives a bigger cost-of-living increase to retirees than either the Senate or governor proposed. 

University funding

McCrory: His budget directs the University of North Carolina system to save $44 million in unspecified cuts. 

Senate: Senators would not require the UNC system to make any additional cuts this year. 

House: House members would ask the UNC system to find $19.8 million in additional savings. 


McCrory: Currently, students who receive full academic scholarships to UNC system schools are charged in-state tuition. This effectively saves the foundations that grant scholarships the difference between in-state and out-of-state tuition. Put another way, this boon costs the UNC system about $9.3 million per year. McCrory's budget does away with this break. 

Senate: Like McCrory's proposal, the Senate budget takes away in-state tuition for those with academic, full-ride scholarships.

House: The House bill does not change the current system and rejected an amendment by Rep. George Cleveland, R-Onslow, to insert a provision that would have mirrored the Senate bill on this subject.

Other education

McCrory: McCrory's education budget focuses on remaking the salary scale for the state's teachers. It makes some trims to the Department of Public Instruction's administrative budget.

Senate: Senators voted to end the Teaching Fellows program, which gives scholarships to rising college students who agree to teach in public schools. The Senate budget cuts administrative funding for DPI by 30 percent. 

House: The House budget would maintain the Teaching Fellows program, putting in $3 million next year. As well, the House cuts DPI by only 1 percent. 

State Bureau of Investigation

McCrory: The governor's budget did not make any major changes to the SBI. 

Senate: Senators would move the SBI and the state crime lab from the Department of Justice, which is run by Attorney General Roy Cooper, to the Department of Public Safety, which McCrory oversees. Cooper, a Democrat, opposes the move. McCrory, a Republican, hasn't come out in full support of the move, but members of his administration have.

House: The House budget would move the SBI, but not the crime lab, to DPS. 


McCrory: Would set aside $1 million to continue with the work of Medicaid reform. Long-term, he wants to create accountable care organizations that would have a financial incentive to reduce the cost of caring for Medicaid patients. 

Senate: The Senate would take control of Medicaid away from the Department of Health and Human Services and would aggressively move toward a managed care model for Medicaid patients. McCrory opposes this plan. Also, the Senate budget would cut Medicaid eligibility for thousands of blind, aged and disabled individuals.

House: Like the governor, the House sets aside $1 million to continue the planning work involved with Medicaid reform. House leaders say they will offer their own Medicaid reform plan in a bill separate from the budget. The House plan would require that any appointee to lead the state's Medicaid program be confirmed by the legislature. Unlike the Senate budget, the House does not cut eligibility for aged, blind and disabled. 

Wright School

McCrory: The governor's budget does not change the status of the Wright School in Durham, which serves children with mental health issues between the ages of 6 and 12. 

Senate: The Senate would close the Wright School. 

House: The House does not close the Wright School. 

Historic renovation credits

McCrory: Since 2001, the state has offered historic renovation credits to entice developers to reuse historic properties, such as defunct textile mills. McCrory has proposed revamping and extending that tax credit, a move backed by cities across the state.

Senate: The Senate budget would have ended the historic rehabilitation tax credit, prompting an outcry from city officials who say they will have a harder time redeveloping vacant buildings. 

House: The House budget makes some modifications and extends the historic rehabilitation credit. 

Film credits

McCrory: The state's film incentive tax credit, used to lure movie, television and commercial production to North Carolina, is set to expire at the end of this year. McCrory has proposed changing the program to be less generous and to emphasize help for companies that are based in the state. 

Senate: Senators want to convert the state's film tax credit into an annual grant program. However, they did not include the measure in their budget. Industry advocates say it won't provide enough money to keep the industry in the state. 

House: House members added a version of the film incentive program in their budget, after turning back a {{a href='blogpost-4"}}tax credit extension in committee{{/a}}. The late move by the House allows for the film credit to be considered in the budget conference committee, so some program could be included in the final bill. 


McCrory: The governor's budget would not have made changes to the state ferry program.

Senate: The Senate's budget would not have made changes to the state ferry program.

House: The House proposal gets rid of tolls on North Carolina ferries – all of them, apparently – and says ferries can make up the money by selling naming rights, sponsorships, advertising and concessions.

Historic sites

McCrory: The governor's budget included $520,000 to help with the upkeep of Tryon Palace in New Bern.

Senate: The Senate budget would close four historic sites: the Zebulon Baird Vance birthplace near Weaverville, the President James K. Polk site in Pineville, the Charles B. Aycock Birthplace in Fremont and the House in the Horseshoe in Moore County. It would also reduce funding for Tryon Palace in New Bern.

House: The House did not change funding for historic sites. 


McCrory: The governor's budget does not change the highway use tax, which is imposed when vehicles are sold. 

Senate: Senate budget writers raised the maximum highway use tax that can be charged on commercial vehicles, from $1,000 to $2,000, starting Jan. 1, 2015. The tax on the purchase of a recreational vehicle would go from $1,500 to $2,000. Then, in July 2015, both taxes would go to $3,000. Finance staffers estimate this would raise $11 million a year.

House: The House budget does not make changes to the highway use tax.


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  • Banker63 Jun 17, 2014

    Looks like McCrory is setting up a Medicaid program that will give one of his good old boy network folks high paying jobs so they can deny people in need medical services. Typical of the GOP to look out for themselves while ignoring the citizens.

  • juliomercado Jun 16, 2014

    View quoted thread

    Your naivete is truly astounding. Do you actually believe there will be a raise under the senate plan? I would recommend you read the fine print. Go to section 9.6.f of the Senate budget (page 41) on the second reading; GA's website and you will discover the truth. IF the senate plan was passed and IF any teachers with tenure chose to not sacrifice it for a raise, NCAE would most assuredly SUE and WIN. There is no way on God's green earth the courts would uphold two pay scales and the extortion of tenure. According to the passage I just cited, NO ONE GETS A RAISE if the law is struck down in court. NO ONE. In your mad rush to "get yours", you are not even seeing the reality. The Senate plan was extortion. Either EVERYONE surrenders tenure and joins our plan or NO ONE gets an increase. Look at the reasons the NC Supreme Court killed the 25% pay plan. Those same reasons exist in the new senate version. READ IT!

  • Jack Harris Jun 14, 2014
    user avatar

    I wonder if the increased taxes on truck/auto/rv's is fair. What it leaves out are BOAT's that are for recreation only, I do not see why if you buy a new vehicle part of that money will go toward building new bridges so the boats can pass under and not wait for a lift?? Maybe an excemption should be in place for commercial vehicles/boats!. Will it hurt the boat building business in NC ??. Jobs may be lost.

  • joycejunior Jun 13, 2014

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    Spare us the bleeding heart "we should work for free" spiel. In my opinion, it's people like you that keep teacher pay down because you're willing to do it for little money that's not equal to skill level. I want to get paid what I'm worth. I want to be able to put food on my table. It's the Senate that's deciding to pay for it with cuts to TA's (who really aren't needed past 1st grade in my opinion.) In my opinion, YOU are in the wrong field as you're so focused on sticking it to the opposition (and believe me, I don't like the republican party), that you blame others for doing what THEY feel they deserve. Not taking the money will lead to excellent quality teachers leaving for better paying jobs. Do you not care about them?

  • Thomas Hannan Jun 13, 2014
    user avatar

    The Senate is evil... they will get their due.

  • Richard Eskridge Jun 13, 2014
    user avatar

    To truly fix Medicaid, you would come off like Satan 10x more than the current General Assembly does. The National Guard would have to be called to the Legislative Building.You ain't kiddin...

  • Redeker Jun 13, 2014

    View quoted thread

    And i doubt you'd see one after the bump. You'd be on a new schedule that they could ignore just like they do the current pay schedule.

    The senate plan has two guarantees: You get a one time pay increase and you lose due process rights. Anything else is speculation.

  • ycbs Jun 13, 2014

    "Medicaid is bloated with waste and fraud. Fix that and you will have plenty of funds." - PEDSRNDAD

    To truly fix Medicaid, you would come off like Satan 10x more than the current General Assembly does. The National Guard would have to be called to the Legislative Building.

  • juliomercado Jun 13, 2014

    I am astounded to see 'alleged' teachers supporting the senate extortion plan. Folks, really? You are so selfish and greedy that you are willing to see text book funding cut even more? You are so bent on a pay raise that you don't care that 7,000 teacher assistants lose their jobs? You don't care that tens of thousands of special needs second and third graders won't get the extra help they need? In my opinion YOU are in the wrong field. If the students don't come first EVERY TIME, do the state of NC a huge favor and change professions. And before the whining begins about working two or three jobs, I have done so for a decade but I don't want others to lose their jobs for my financial gain.

  • Dee Sides Jun 13, 2014
    user avatar

    Why are we not surprised? Each of them have different election years to worry about. Remember, it is all about them and no one else in their eyes. Ugh.