State News

House gives final OK to nearly $19B budget

Posted June 3, 2010
Updated June 4, 2010

State budget

— The House has approved its spending plan for North Carolina government that's being billed as either an austere budget for 2010 or a plan that leaves the state unprepared for a $3 billion shortfall in 2011.

The House gave preliminary approval Thursday of a nearly $19 billion spending plan by a party-line vote of 62-55. The second and final vote, taken just after midnight, passed 62-48.

General Assembly generic, House members in action Big differences remain in House, Senate budgets

"Most of our members wanted to come back at 12:01 (a.m.) rather than come back (later Friday)," House Majority Leader Hugh Holliman said. "Once you get a budget on the floor and you go through debate, there's no need to wait extra days."

The plan tries to preserve more public school jobs and requires universities to find additional cuts. Holliman, D-Davidson, said he believes all lawmakers can support the plan because it doesn't contain new taxes.

"We're having to find places to cut, and no one's exempt from those cuts," he said.

House Republicans said, however, that the budget doesn't prepare North Carolina for next year's loss of more than $1 billion in federal stimulus funds and another $1 billion-plus in state sales and income taxes that are scheduled to expire in 2011.

“Is this budget the smart and prudent thing to do looking toward the future?” asked Rep. Johnathan Rhyne, R-Lincoln. “Is this budget sustainable?”

Democratic budget writers who have worked for two months fashioning cuts lashed out at Republicans who have suggested spending should fall by an additional $450 million.

“Tell us which teachers do you want us to fire, which correctional officers you want to cut,” said Rep. Rick Glazier, D-Cumberland, an education budget subcommittee leader. “The rhetoric that we can all apply is an easy thing.”

The House considered more than 20 amendments to the proposed budget and approved some Republican-backed amendments:

  • One would extend the proposed repeal of the discount private foundations receive to pay tuition for out-of-state student athletes attending University of North Carolina campuses to cover academic scholars like the Park scholars at North Carolina State University and Morehead-Cain scholars at UNC-Chapel Hill. The $6.1 million saved would go to career technical programs in the public schools.
  • Another would eliminate funding for end-of-course tests for American history, physical science, and civics and economics. About $2.1 million saved would go for school supplies for teachers.

Once the House casts its final vote for the budget, representatives and senators will meet to hash out differences in their two spending plans.

"We'll obviously have to work out our differences," Holliman said. "They want to do more for the universities, and we want to do more for the public schools. We'll work through that."

Senators have "lots of concerns" about the House budget , said Sen. Linda Garrou, D-Forsyth. A primary sticking point for her is a proposed cap on enrollment at University of North Carolina campuses.

"I never thought I'd see the day when we say to parents whose children are going to university, 'Well, yours can't come. Yours can come. Yours can't come because we can't find the money,'" Garrou said.


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  • Kolchackk Jun 4, 2010

    They could save a helluva lot by cutting out some of the backroom deals and corruption going on. How much money could we save if every other politician in Raleigh wasn't under some type of investigation.

    NCTeacher: I wonder how many state employees realize they can save over $100.00 per month by buying a private plan also from BCBS vs getting insurance through the state. The state plan for my daughter was around 250.00 per month. I have a private plan from BCBS for which I pay 140.00 per month.

  • CarZin Jun 4, 2010

    "I would start moving everyone over to 1099 employees and employ as few of them as possible."

    Wow, someone just became an expert by reading a few cnnfn articles recently. Get a clue.

  • whatelseisnew Jun 4, 2010

    I can only assume that the people in the State Legislature that voted in favor of this budget are quite insane. They need a spending plan of 15 billion. Any money that comes into the State that is above that amount during the next fiscal year needs to go to paying off State debt. It is time to reduce the number of State workers. I would start moving everyone over to 1099 employees and employ as few of them as possible.

  • issymayake Jun 4, 2010

    I live on far less than $1,000.00 a month. I have to stay well within a budget or I'm in trouble. The state should also. I see all over where they can cut the budget, but they would never listen to me. - driverkid3

    Good for you. For the rest of us working stiffs, who have mortgages, childcare, car notes, taxes, etc. That's impossible.

  • eden4576 Jun 4, 2010

    I love how it always reverts back to pointing fingers at this group or that group. I guess in a "perfect" world all the teachers and government employees could just quit and then all would be dandy right? Then who would teach your children?...fix your roads?...look after those children who are neglected and abused?...protect you and your families?...put our your house fires?...etc. Pointing fingers will never solve this problem. Putting the right people in office and getting the wrong ones out will! If you're this annoyed...go VOTE on November 2nd! Another solution which will NEVER happen - politicians shouldn't be paid as much as they get paid and should have the same health care as the rest of the state employees!

  • NCTeacher Jun 4, 2010

    sinterclaus- you pay for your family members to be insured. That is where your almost $800 a month is going to. The state pays for YOU to be insured and you pay for your family members.

  • Garnerwolf1 Jun 4, 2010

    At one time the benefit of being a state employee was the benefits. Those days are over. But the point here is a budget that will be ultimately passed that is about $2B too large. That's a lot of money folks and nickel and dime cuts aren't going to do it

  • delilahk2000 Jun 4, 2010


  • delilahk2000 Jun 4, 2010


  • sinterclaus Jun 4, 2010

    actuaklly it is 882.68 I forgot to carry the one