Local Politics

Second continuing resolution appears likely

Posted July 8, 2009

State budget
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— A week into the 2009-10 fiscal year, lawmakers are no closer to a new state budget than they were when they began negotiating two weeks ago.

House and Senate budget-writers said they can't agree on basic things – where to spend, what to cut and how to raise revenue – and they said it's unlikely a spending plan will be passed before the continuing resolution that is keeping state government running expires next Wednesday.

State budget, state spending graphic Lawmakers at impasse over state budget

"There's not a lot of conversation going on," Senate Majority Leader Tony Rand said.

"There is a major gap in education, public safety and human services," Senate President Pro Tempore Marc Basnight said.

The House sent a proposal to the Senate but hasn't responded to the counter-offer that was made last week.

"The proposal they gave us was not acceptable," said Rep. Mickey Michaux, D-Durham, noting that many House members don't believe the Senate's plan was an honest effort at compromise.

"It was a bit frustrating, but that goes with the territory," Michaux said.

Gov. Beverly Perdue tried to break the impasse Tuesday by calling top lawmakers to the Executive Mansion and laying out her own plan for raising extra revenue in the coming year to erase a projected $4.6 billion deficit.

Perdue called for raising the state sales tax by a penny for 13 months, beginning Sept. 1. The increase would raise more than half of the $1.6 billion in revenue she would like to include in the 2009-10 budget.

Her plan also would enact taxes on a range of services like appliance installations and repairs, movie tickets, courier services and cosmetic surgery; raise taxes on cigarettes by 50 cents per pack and on alcohol; lower personal and corporate income tax rates; and provide tax relief to home buyers and small-business owners.

Lawmakers said their plans call for raising an extra $1 billion in revenue.

"She does not want any expansion of class size (in public schools). I believe that should occur," said Basnight, D-Dare.

Perdue said she hopes her budget plan will motivate the General Assembly to reach consensus and raise more taxes, but she wouldn't commit to signing a budget with less new revenue than she has targeted.

"As they deliberate, I hope people across the state will hold their feet to the fire and (get them to) make the right decision for kids and schools," she said.

Budget negotiators said they are feeling pressure from constituents who want them to raise revenue but also operate more efficiently.

"Folks back home don't feel like we've tightened our belts, that we've not reduced our budget, that we're not spending money as wisely as we should, and that should be our first priority," said Sen. Linda Garrou, D-Forsyth.

22 Comments

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  • lkanzig Jul 9, 2009

    they didnt cut the turnpike authority?
    WE DONT EVEN HAVE A TURNPIKE IN THIS STATE AND WE ARE PAYING FOR AN AUTHORITY??
    WHY DO WE NEED THAT IN THE BUDGET? DONT HAVE THE MONEY TO BUILD A TURNPIKE, NO NEED FOR AN AUTHORITY!
    im sorry, but just how stupid can a group of people be?

    anyone taking before labor day or after before they get a budget?

  • ezLikeSundayMorning Jul 9, 2009

    What do they expect schools to do if they keep dragging this out. Staffing levels need to be adjusted and year round is already in session. Is it so hard to compromise and bump class sizes up by one?

    I agree this needs to be a broader solution than cigarette and booze taxes.

  • quebholder Jul 9, 2009

    64,000,000 in budget for turnpike authority...do we have a turnpike??

  • ncguy Jul 9, 2009

    hey, how about cut back on the entitlement programs.

    Why does she always go after the minority for the majority?

    Alcohol, cigarettes?? That is a small portion of people paying for the large portion?

    It should be the the majority pays for the majority- I know makes to much sense for her.

  • EyesintheSkies Jul 9, 2009

    Apply the Roman Legion's decimation rule daily until they get something done.

  • watch out here i come Jul 9, 2009

    This "For the Children" doesn't Fly with me. I don't have any children but still have to Pay Taxes as if I did. Adding new taxes isn't going to help either, will make people go to other States taht don't have them to Buy things and then NC will still lose more Money because of this Loss of Revenue. Bad Govt. creates vicious Circle of Waste and Bad Management in a Time when we can least afford it.

  • jurydoc Jul 9, 2009

    Quebholder -- You can find ALL the versions of the various budget bills on the NC legislature page. The latest version is here: http://www.ncleg.net/Sessions/2009/Bills/Senate/PDF/S202v6.pdf

    Conference committees have been formed in both the House and Senate. They are the only ones working to resolve the impasse. That's why the others have little else to do but to chug milk. Pitiful.

  • SilverWolf Jul 9, 2009

    donnied1952...

    Seems a lot of the important stories get posted at night when GOLO is closed for comments. We get from 8am-8pm to make comments.

  • quebholder Jul 9, 2009

    I would LOVE to see the whole proposed budget

  • Dave Green Jul 9, 2009

    Donnied1952- comments to stories are closed after the moderators log off.

    Isn't it interesting that they use scare tactics such as cutting education and other close-to-home issues when they try to justify tax increases? If you could see the proposed budget it will show the fat that needs to be trimmed.

    This is all about bringing home money to a legislator's home district so they can have something to tout come reelection.

    Me thinks it is long past the time when we should restrict the terms of politicians so they can concentrate on the matters of state and the people instead of what they do from day 1 in office- schmooze the people so that they can be reelected.

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