GOP lawmakers send budget to Perdue

Posted June 4, 2011

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— The North Carolina Senate ratified a $19.7 billion, two-year budget Saturday morning, sending the first Republican-penned state budget in more than a century to the desk of Democratic Gov. Bev Perdue.

If Perdue does not veto or approve the budget bill within 10 days, it will automatically become law.

Perdue said she will review the bill to see if she believes it does enough for education.

"Believe me when I say: I will not be the first governor to abandon our schools, our community colleges and our university system," Perdue said in a statement Saturday. "I am prepared to veto this budget if my review indeed shows what I fear - that North Carolina will move backwards under this budget plan."

Republicans hold a super majority in Senate, strong enough to override a veto. In the House, the GOP is four votes short of a super-majority, but five Democrats voted for the bill Friday, making it appear veto-proof.

Democratic Rep. Dewey Hill, said he likes the GOP-written plan and will vote to override a veto if Perdue acts.

"We gave our word," said Hill, D-Columbus. "Your word is your bond."

Education spending and closing a $2.4 billion projected shortfall have been at the center of the budget debate. 

The budget bill reduces funding for school administrators and support staff by $120 million and adds money to hire 1,100 new teachers in early grades. Republicans point out this budget spends $300 million more on public schools and $100 million on the University of North Carolina System than an earlier House version.

"We have a budget that restores all the K-12 education funding for teachers and teachers' assistants. The minute that budget gets signed, those people don't have to worry about being out of a job three weeks from now," House Speaker Thom Tillis, R-Mecklenburg, said.

"I don't want to hear that Republicans don't care. That's not true," said Sen. Jerry Tillman, R-Randolph. "This is a very caring budget."

On the Record On the Record: Veto showdown looms in budget battle

Senate Democrats contend the bill would eliminate jobs in the public sector. They cite documents from public schools, University of North Carolina system and community colleges saying the Senate budget would eliminate 13,000 positions.

"To say that this budget can do anything to improve schools is totally misguided, totally misleading," state Board of Education Chair Bill Harrison said Friday.

Tillis said the layoffs estimated by Democrats and the state's education establishment are overblown because 4,000 to 5,000 teachers statewide retire or leave for other reasons in the average year.

Republicans also expect the state to gain tens of thousands of private-sector jobs from letting temporary sales tax expire and offering a small-business tax break.

Democrats have argued the temporary sales tax should be extended to fund education.

By law, the state must have a budget bill passed by July 1, when the new fiscal year begins.


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  • SARCASTICLES Jun 6, 2011

    We be TWINS, BIlzac....I'm a Dixiecrat who has always voted for the best choice, democrat OR know, a "liberal". heh heh heh. ;)

  • BIlzac Jun 6, 2011

    And just for reference, lest anyone should choose to begin slingling labels..

    I am a nearly 50 year old lifelong Republican.

    But no more.

    The legislatures in NC, IN, WI, OH, and PA, most of whom were elected on the backs of the Tea Party surge, have shown that they know only one type of governing - slash and burn.

    I'm sure the Democratic party is just as flawed. But I refuse to give my vote to a party that has sold itself out to a movement just to ensure it's election.

    Nobody really knew what the tea party was all about. I think many of us thought it was about returning to a government BY the people and FOR the people.

    Turns out the tea party was about BUSINESS. The tea party was about the WEALTHY keeping what they had and getting more. The tea party is about eliminating a government that serves and protects it's citizens, especially those who need it the most.

  • Dukefan1 Jun 6, 2011

    boylan99....if you have to lay off that many people..there is a problem. These unemployed people are only going to make the situation worse....and yes, it is over the 1% sales tax. We would not have to lay off nearly as many as will happen if this budget passes. Now, what is that yo are saying about kool aid. Must be what the GOP has been drinking for a while now.

  • SARCASTICLES Jun 6, 2011

    TRILLIONS in tax cuts for the richest Americans: GOOD, "Creates JOBS JOBS JOBS"(tm)

    1% sales tax for North Carolina: BAD, "JOB KILLIN'"(tm)

    We'll take the sure beats drinkin' the antifreeze like you do. ;) ;)

  • boylan99 Jun 6, 2011

    "I can hardly believe people would want to destroy education and public safety...all over a silly 1% sales tax. OK guys (repubs) what are you going to spend all that money you save on....a soda? Give me a break!" jeannerogers

    This is a lot bigger than that 1% sales tax. There is $19.7 BILLION in the proposed budget. If this state can't run on that it needs to just disappear.

    Purdue must be serving some good kool aid.

  • Dukefan1 Jun 6, 2011

    JustAName, it is not for you to judge if teachers are qualified. The universities have already said they are by giving them a diploma. I would say that 99% of teachers do an outstanding job, but you and others like you group them all together saying they are SORRY! as hard as teachers work, you should be ashamed of yourself. And if you don't believe they work hard, go to the school of your choice and volunteer for a week. You will then change your mind.

  • JustAName Jun 6, 2011

    Plenty Coups - so, you believe in giving someone higher pay before determining if they meet high qualifications.

    Increase the standards of qualifications for teachers in colleges. Increase class room size. Increase the requirements for students to advance. Increase parental responsibility for their children. Then increase pay for teachers.

    But, the main issue is, the state doesn't have the money. Education is almost 60% of the budget. Largest portion of the pie gets the largest cut.

  • Dukefan1 Jun 6, 2011

    sillywabbitthepatriot.....because it is a farce. all the cowards did was push the lay-offs to the local level so they could say they did not lay off teachers. It is just a game to them. they don't give a d&*m about children and/or teachers.

  • Plenty Coups Jun 6, 2011

    "I don't understand why people are against this bill. It does what most people ask and that is cut spending on administrative and support staff and actually ADD more teachers."

    LOL. It cuts many more in order to add them. It does nothing to address their frozen salaries, merit pay taken away, more work added on as there will be less TA's, or increased health care costs.

  • Dukefan1 Jun 6, 2011

    I can hardly believe people would want to destroy education and public safety...all over a silly 1% sales tax. OK guys (repubs) what are you going to spend all that money you save on....a soda? Give me a break!