Local Politics

Senate rolls out $19B spending plan

Posted May 18, 2010

State budget
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— Less than a week after convening for the 2010 legislative session, the state Senate got its first look Tuesday at the nearly $19 billion budget proposal subcommittees have drafted in recent days.

The proposed budget, which is expected to come up for an initial vote on Wednesday, is $150 million less than the spending plan suggested last month by Gov. Beverly Perdue. It also marks the first time in four years that the Senate has come up with a budget below the $19 billion mark.

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"This budget is not without pain, believe me," said Sen. Charlie Albertson, D-Duplin, co-chairman of the Senate Appropriations Committee. "There is pain, but we are living in, as you know, unprecedented times."

Although both Perdue and lawmakers profess support for education, key differences have emerged in their spending priorities.

Perdue, for example, called for pay raises for teachers and for repaying all state workers for furloughs and pay cuts they were forced to take a year ago to balance the 2008-09 budget. Neither item is in Senate Bill 897.

"The teachers I've talked to agree no one should get a pay increase if their colleagues might get laid off to pay for it," said Sen. A.B. Swindell, D-Nash, co-chairman of the appropriations committee.

"We've done everything we can do to protect the classroom and to keep teachers in the classroom," said Sen. Linda Garrou, D-Forsyth, co-chairwoman of the committee.

The Senate provides an extra $81 million for public schools, the University of North Carolina system and the community college system over Perdue's proposal. It comes at the expense of deeper cuts to the Department of Health and Human Services and public safety operations, such as the Department of Correction and the state courts system.

"We would have liked to see more money for probation officers (in the Senate budget)," Perdue spokeswoman Chrissy Pearson said. "We believe they need an increase in pay so they can retain and recruit good quality officers."

Both the Senate and Perdue proposed tax credits for small businesses in their budgets. The Senate's $47 million in credits would benefit an estimated 275,000 to 300,000 small businesses statewide, while the governor's incentives are more targeted.

"The key is we not only protect existing jobs but we grow new jobs. That's what the governor was trying to accomplish," Pearson said.

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  • affirmativediversity May 19, 2010

    How much does it cost for Bev to have her office in Charlotte? I read somewhere that the monthly lease alone is $1,500.00.
    per Proud2BUS Citizen

    -------
    $1,500.00 sounds very low for office space in Charlotte. Whatever it is you have to add utilities, staff, travel and supplies...add it all up and then divide it by the average salary of a prison guard or law enforcement officer or baths and hot meals for seniors...!!!!!

    Nice job Bev...go after those dastdardly seniors and disabled people...we all know they are the ones really abusing the system!

  • Proud2BUS Citizen May 19, 2010

    How much does it cost for Bev to have her office in Charlotte? I read somewhere that the monthly lease alone is $1,500.00.

  • affirmativediversity May 19, 2010

    Anyone else notice that its always services that directly impact the people that are cut...never management or superfluous services?

    What do they cut: Services to the elderly, prison guards, law enforcement and teachers...

    What don't they cut: Engineers at the Department of Environment (there's literally hundreds of them), International Tourism Offices (actually the entire Deparment of Commerce should be under the cut microscope), More at Four (nothing more than state paid daycare), do you realize that DPI in Raliegh has approx 1000 staff/that's 100 staff per county and doesn't include each county's BOE staff AND THEY'RE CUTTING TEACHERS!!!

    Does any of this truly make sense to you. Look at DOT...hiring a TOLL MANAGER but has no money to build roads...hiring roadside beautification crews when there's pot holes that could swallow a car whole??????

  • bluemeany May 19, 2010

    This stinks to the high heavens..............

  • bluemeany May 19, 2010

    "We would have liked to see more money for probation officers (in the Senate budget)," Perdue spokeswoman Chrissy Pearson said. "We believe they need an increase in pay so they can retain and recruit good quality officers."

    What about the DOC officers we to would like to keep and hire quality officers....Govt....spend a day or night with staff in a prison and see what it takes to do this job.......Cutting budget on the backs of DOC......Probation parole is no better that DOC....at least I think they are not....4 year degree good for them but it makes them no better and us less than them....DOC turnover rate is at an all time high and you are only worried about probation.....PITIFUL on your part Perdue..

  • Bendal1 May 19, 2010

    Given the same choice today as was given us in 2008 between Purdue and McCrory, I would STILL vote for her. When will this state's GOP realize retread Charlotte mayors aren't going to get elected to the Governor's position? In this economy McCrory would have done the same things as Purdue has done anyway.

  • bluemeany May 19, 2010

    Check

  • affirmativediversity May 19, 2010

    And these are the people you've entrusted your healthcare to!

    Gosh, that's going to work out great, NOT!

  • WHEEL May 19, 2010

    Of cource Bev wants to placate the State workers whose pay she cut last year but it "ain't gonna work". They have had a belly full of her and most will never vote for her again!