State News

N.C. Republicans join in support for budget bill

Posted June 5, 2008


— Democratic House Speaker Joe Hackney says he's not surprised the chamber is giving broad bipartisan support to its budget bill for the coming year.

The House scheduled the second of two required votes Thursday on a $21.3 billion spending plan. On Wednesday, a majority of Republicans in the House joined with Democrats in passing the bill by a vote of 102-12.

Hackney says the budget works to keep the state's fiscal house in order while the economy is slowing down. The plan increases government spending by a little more than 3 percent. That's only one-third of the increases in the last two budget laws.

"We just did not have the funds with which to do (things), and we could not do it without raising taxes to a great extent," Rep. Mickey Michaux, D-Durham, who is the senior co-chairman of the House Appropriations Committee, said as the debate began. "Our conservative budgeting has worked well."

Republican Rep. Nelson Dollar says he supported the measure because it doesn't raise taxes and starts the phase-out of an annual $172 million transfer from a dedicated transportation fund.

"There are good things in the budget that can be supported by both sides," said House Minority Whip Bill McGee, R-Forsyth, adding that he would vote for the budget. "The overall (growth) rate this year is acceptable. It's less than the cost of living."

The person most unhappy with the spending plan may have been Gov. Mike Easley, who said Tuesday that House Democrats were "stiffing the teachers" by failing to support his proposal to raise their average salaries by nearly 7 percent.


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  • ifcdirector Jun 5, 2008

    It wouldn't take $21 Billion to run the entire United States if government were conducted as mandated in both the federal and state constitutions.

  • LMRA Jun 5, 2008

    Actually there will be more money in the Transportation Trust fund because they are putting back the money they 'borrowed' and now DOT can get back to the business for which the money was intended. Just like the raid on the State Employees Retirement System a few years back.

  • OLD PIRATE 2 Jun 5, 2008

    Remember his promises when you vote. This is nothing new, to promise one thing and can't deliver. Wait until you see the big lies on the national level.

  • catwoman1 Jun 5, 2008

    I wish the House would come and sit my 80-85 degree office everyday with no air circulating and then tell me they can't give me a decent raise. It's time these clowns were replaced and November is coming up. Teachers definitely deserve more money and so all state employees. If my department would allow me to telecommute, then I would be ok with little raise. At least I have AC that works in my home.

  • mindcrime Jun 5, 2008

    The only proper role for government is to protect our fundamental rights. Government should provide rule of law, protect property rights, and enforce contracts. Anything else that it does is unnecessary at best, and immoral at worst; definitely immoral if funded through the collection of taxes based on implied threat of coercive force.

    We need to dramatically cut state spending, eliminate the state income tax, and transition most of the "services" provided by the state to private, voluntarily formed and funded non-profits, and/or private for-profit firms.

    21.3 billion dollars to the State? No way, this is absurd.

  • Ouaouaron Jun 5, 2008

    The line should be held on spending, period. I'm afraid that the "educational" lobby is starting to gain a toehold here. If you want to see where you wind up when they take over, look to the Northeast. No matter how much you give, it won't be enough! Folks need reasonable raises and benefits that are in line with what is typical for the area. A 7% raise -- in addition to other bonuses -- is too much.

  • richard2 Jun 5, 2008

    I'm glad gov.mike is unhappy, now he knows how the state employees feel.

  • ladyblue Jun 5, 2008

    Republican Rep. Nelson Dollar says he supported the measure because it doesn't raise taxes and starts the phase-out of an annual $172 million transfer from a dedicated transportation fund

    What does this mean??. Does it mean are slowly going to dwindle the transportation (uh highways) money and let those things suffer.........

  • Corvus Jun 5, 2008

    I am a state employee. There were many years that we did not get any kind of raise, except an extra week of vacation. You can't put a day of vacation in you gas tank or buy groceries with it. Mr. Easley only cares about the teachers. What about balancing the budget on the backs of the state workers. Sure they may give us a 2.75% raise. However, then they will raise our insurance premiums and deductables. After all this we are making $20.00 to $100.00 less than we were before!

    Let us hope that the State Senate will improve on the "Rank and File" state employees raise. If not, I no who I WILL NOT vote for in November.

  • JollyJellyFish Jun 5, 2008

    I agree divabiker. My salary is so far below the cost of living, I may never get out of this whole.