GOP leaders: Budget, charters 'moving forward'

Posted March 22, 2011

Legislative leaders said today they believe they’ll meet their goal of finishing the budget by early June.

At a joint press conference this morning, House Speaker Thom Tillis and Senate Leader Phil Berger said they’re on target to send Governor Bev Perdue a finished spending plan “earlier than anyone can remember in a long session.”

Tillis and Berger agreed that, while the House’s budget will come out first according to custom, the Republican caucuses in the two chambers will likely have reached consensus on just about everything in it.

Reporters questioned the leaders about their claims of progress, since joint budget meetings so far this year have been presentations by staff, with no actual debates or votes yet on program areas or line items. Are the House and Senate budget leaders – the “big chairs” – writing the plan behind closed doors?

“No decisions have been made at this point.” Tillis said. “We’re not doing it the way [Democrats] have done it.”

But, Berger added, “We’re getting very close to the point where decisions will be made, and those decisions will be made at the subcommittee level, in public meetings.”

Tillis also said charter school reform, S8, won't be heard in House Education this week because Republican sponsors are "making progress in discussions" with Democrats and the Governor's office. Tillis says the sponsors are working to address Democrats' concerns. He says he's hopeful it'll be "truly a bipartisan bill" when it reappears on the House calendar. 

But two other big bills might see action this week: Tillis says the voter ID bill, H351, could move out of House Elections after Wednesday's meeting. And Berger's hoping the Senate's medical malpractice bill, S33, will reach the House floor later this week.    

Watch the whole press conference here: Tillis and Berger GOP leaders: Budget, charters 'moving forward'


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  • larieke Mar 22, 2011

    You would think that in these sessions the would be a microphone for questions from the floor. The questions are equally important to hear as are the answers.

  • pancake Mar 22, 2011

    I think that the title of your report has an error. It should be Republican and Democrat (not Democratic, an adverb), you're using a proper noun and an adverb together. And by the way, the word "democratic" gives a sublimimal advatage to that party because we view democratic as a positive thing. All the media makes this silly mistake, you're not alone. Our country is a republic but, it's hard to work that one in for a Republican advantage.