@NCCapitol

NC House approves $20.3 billion spending plan

Posted May 30, 2012
Updated May 31, 2012

State budget

— Adjustments to the state budget for the coming year are taking shape in the North Carolina House.

The House debated dozens of amendments to the spending plan Wednesday afternoon before taking the two required votes on its $20.3 billion proposal for the year starting July 1.

After more than eight hours of debate, the House approved the budget by a veto-proof margin. Five Democrats joined the Republican majority in the 73-46 vote.

The measure now goes to the Senate, where Republican leaders there will make their changes to it.

Lawmakers must pass all budget adjustments by June 30.

Gov. Beverly Perdue panned the spending plan on Thursday, saying that it "locks in" cuts to education that lawmakers made a year ago.

“I want to prepare our children to compete not just with our neighbors, but to compete globally for high-paying, 21st century jobs. In order to do that, we need an investment in education that moves North Carolina forward. The House’s budget barely keeps us in neutral," Perdue said in a statement. "While their budget is insufficient in the K-12 area, funding levels for our community colleges and public universities are even worse. We need more revenue to adequately fund our education system. In order to do right by our children, we must invest in their future.”

The chamber's budget-writing committee on Tuesday approved the proposal that spends almost 2 percent more compared with the plan approved in the two-year budget in 2011. The Republican-led House plan does not raise taxes to generate the extra funds.

Republican leaders say the budget they've crafted covers the state's top priorities. The plan would avoid about $330 million in cuts to schools that were scheduled to happen this year.

It also includes a one time bonus of $250 and five days of leave for state workers and teachers, and adds money to Medicaid to cover increases to services.

Senior House Budget Chairman Harold Brubaker said lawmakers wrote the budget the same way households do across North Carolina.

"We didn't borrow any money to try to fill the gap. We didn't raise taxes to have additional spending. We spent what came in," said Brubaker, R-Randolph.

Democrats say the budget does not make up enough for school districts that lost thousands of workers last year.

"They say that they are meeting the needs of the children of this state. They are not; they are failing to do so," House Minority Leader Joe Hackney said.

Hackney, D-Orange, said Republicans should have considered a temporary sales tax to repair last year's deep cuts to schools and services. Gov. Beverly Perdue has lobbied in recent months for a 0.75-cent increase to the state sales tax rate to generate more money for public schools.

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  • ladyblue Jun 1, 2012

    . We need more revenue to adequately fund our education system. In order to do right by our children, we must invest in their future.”

    And Harvard just did a study that maybe college shouldn't be pushed down every ones throat allowing students to be so far in debt in this day and time for education. That debt from college loans (which is higher than credit card loans now) could be used for entrepreneurs to start up businesses, go to tech schools, and use 2 years of education at community college levels..So Bev, also in this time of debt the right thing to do is to stop strangling our kids with tremendous debts for liberal entitlement policies you want.

  • Plenty Coups May 31, 2012

    "Don't lump everyone together because you may have heard or had a bad experience with one state employee."

    It's easy to criticize all state employees and pretend they are all bad if it means that one can get away with paying less in taxes.

  • chfdcpt May 31, 2012

    And don't forget the 1% of their salary that state employees were forced to give back to the state about a year ago.

  • free2bme May 31, 2012

    It is so sad to hear the public talk about state employees as if state employees are not tax payers also. State employees contribute to the economy as well and most state employees work hard providing services to the state and the citizens of NC. Of course their are some that do nothing but that is not the whole, just like private industry. Myself having worked both in private and for the state, I can personally say that I did less work in the private sector as well I was shown more appreciation & got raises. I know people who quit their state jobs without another job because of the stress from the job- state jobs are political. Our state need state employees to provide needed services and there are many state workers that care & work hard to service the citizens of NC. Don't lump everyone together because you may have heard or had a bad experience with one state employee.

  • Plenty Coups May 31, 2012

    "I'm a state employee who makes only 33k. Not the usual 40k and higher. The $250 bonus is just not going to keep me out of the food pantry. "

    Make sure to contact your state representatives and vote for the opponents of all those who voted this ridiculous budget into place. A simple penny sales tax could have properly funded education.

  • Plenty Coups May 31, 2012

    hfmichael-"You can post comment after comment on here about salaries, but until an audit is done in each and every dept and until the waste is cut out, good state employees will continue to get the shaft and continue to get great performance reports that don't match their pay!"

    This "get rid of the waste" shtick has been repeated endlessly over my entire lifetime. Sure we should always try to reduce waste but to try to deny needed, hard earned pay to those who deserve it since there are some people who don't deserve their pay is terribly unfair. Should EVERY company stop giving out raises until every last drop of waste is removed? There's a bit of waste in everything and in every job but the fact remains: NC educational spending is near the very bottom of the entire nation right now. Overall NC taxes are also below the national average.

  • Plenty Coups May 31, 2012

    Truly an insult to teachers. A 3/4 of a cent tax is out of the question but it's OK to have their contracts broken for 4 years, their benefits shredded. It's obvious that the GOP doesn't value quality teachers. The six cents an hour insult is pathetic. Even more so when Thom Tillis gives his staff raises that amount to more than the average teacher's pay!!!

  • Plenty Coups May 31, 2012

    "and start testing the TEACHERS as well as the students."

    Let's see here. Teachers have to pass plenty of tests to get their college degrees. They then have to pass the Praxis teacher exam to get their license. Then they have to take additional courses in order to keep their license. I'm sure they'd be all for more testing of themselves if you would foot the bill and then pay them the salaries that are comparable to other professions that require the same education level. Right now, they make around 30 to 40 THOUSAND dollars less per year. A teacher in NC hired in 2008 is only making around 31 thousand a year. We can do better.

  • wross May 31, 2012

    AS AN EDUCATOR IT WOULD BE IN THE STATE'S BEST INTEREST TO KEEP THE $250...A SLAP IN THE FACE AND USE IT TO PAY LEGISLATORS, THEY CERTAINLY HAVE AWARDED THEMSELVES RAISES IN THE PAST FIVE YEARS. THEY DO NOT REALIZE THE IMPACT OF FUTURE LOSS OF TEACHERS WHO WILL LEAVE EDUCATION TO PURSUE A CAREER WHERE RAISES ARE GIVEN... NOT EVERY FIVE YEARS. NO THANKS I DON'T WANT A 250 DOLLAR PITTANCE.

  • 20K May 31, 2012

    The state needs to learn how to spend what they get and live on a budget like the rest of us! If Bev and her crowd would clean up the waste in state spending they would have more than enough for education! NO NEW TAXES!!!!!!!

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