RALEIGH, N.C. — House and Senate Republicans are preparing to work on differences with their competing budget bills for North Carolina state government for the coming year.
The Senate voted 30-19 along party lines Thursday to approve its proposed $20.1 billion spending plan. The Senate version next goes to the House, setting the stage for negotiations between the two sides.
The House approved a plan two weeks ago that spent $127 million more than the Senate.
The two chambers have differing views on spending for the public schools and Medicaid and whether to expand ferry tolls.
Before passing the budget, the Senate voted down a proposed amendment to raise the state sales tax rate. Gov. Beverly Perdue has lobbied for a 0.75-cent increase to generate more money for public education.
The GOP rolled out the amendment to try to put Democrats on the record about their support for tax increases.
“Throughout the budget debate, we’ve heard Democrats fight to raise taxes on job creators, deny improvements to our public schools, ignore major funding shortfalls in Medicaid and resume the same wasteful spending that left our state with a $2.5 billion deficit last year,” Senate President Pro Tem Phil Berger said in a statement. “In spite of their demagoguery, I’m proud the Senate was able to improve the sound budget we already have in place and make smart investments in our future.”
The compromise plan will go to Perdue, who hasn't been happy with either chamber. She vetoed last year's budget bill, but legislators overturned the veto.