State spending plan enters final phase

Posted June 13, 2013

— The state budget is headed back to the Senate for negotiations after winning its final House vote Thursday, 77-40.

House Republican budget-writers say their $20.6 billion plan fully funds Medicaid, adds 5,000 pre-kindergarten seats and includes compensation for survivors of the state's eugenics program.

"This is a commonsense budget. It meets the needs of our citizens," said Senior Appropriations Committee Chairman Nelson Dollar. 

"I think it sends the message that the state has to live within its means, just like each and every one of us have to live within our means," added Rep. Allen McNeill, R-Randolph. 

Democratic critics say the plan underfunds vital programs in education, health and economic development in order to pay for a tax break that will disproportionately benefit the wealthiest people in the state.

Minority Leader Larry Hall said the $54 million in new fees in the proposal will fall hardest on small businesses.

“There is no difference between a tax and a fee. They're both three-letter words that take money out of your pocket," said Hall, D-Durham. "But those millionaires got their tax break."

"You came here talking about jobs, jobs, jobs. You haven’t created one job that I know of," said Rep. Mickey Michaux, D-Durham. "You have cut jobs."

The House plan would cut hundreds of state positions, many of them in the closing of prisons and detention centers legislators say are no longer needed. It also cuts funding for teaching assistants, the university system and minority economic development programs. 

"This budget does serious harm, and the argument that’s being used that we have no choice is not true." said Rep. Rick Glazier, D-Cumberland. "We have choices. It’s just that we don’t like some of the choices."

"Tell me what taxes you want to increase," replied Rep. Bryan Holloway, R-Stokes.

"I've heard a lot of talk and bemoaning about the cuts as if all cuts are bad. That’s far too simplistic," said Rep. Dean Arp, R-Union. "Some cuts are good. We cut where necessary."   

Though he opposed it, Hall said the Republican-penned House plan "is the least of all evils for the budgets that are out there," compared with proposals from the Senate and Gov. Pat McCrory.

In his final floor speech, he urged House leaders to fight for their additional K-12 funding and eugenics compensation in their coming negotiations with Senate leaders.  

“Don’t go into that conference committee and then sell us out,” Hall said. "Make sure the best things in this budget don’t get given away in a conference committee behind closed doors." 

After the vote, Dollar, R-Wake, said he believes the House and Senate plans have more similarities than differences, and he predicted that the conference process would go quickly, even with the addition of negotiations over tax reform. 

Dollar predicted the two sides would approve a compromise plan in time for the start of the new fiscal year on July 1.


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  • fuji34 Jun 17, 2013

    What about the workers likeDOT who make just over $30,000 a year and see nothing commig to help with food or bills

  • stymieindurham Jun 14, 2013

    There are some on here that would give the "slackers" everything "you" have.

  • Plenty Coups Jun 14, 2013

    retro-"What, profiling? From a lib, no less."

    Your arguments are so weak. Do you understand the difference between statistics and racial profiling? Then there's geoography and understanding the difference between cities and states.

    "Much better to cherry-pick, a well-known tactic.
    If you compare NC with other states of similar demographics, what is the result?"

    Interesting as to how you now want to compare apples to apples.It's not "cherrypicking" when the highest achieving states (more than one)tend to be higher spending states. Year after year. The same with the lower spending states. Down near the bottom, year after year. Four states that have similar demographics: Maryland, Virginia, Tennesse, and Alabama. Both Maryland and Virginia spend more and get better results while the other two spend less and get worse results.

  • bill0 Jun 14, 2013

    "What, profiling? From a lib, no less."

    You don't seem to understand what profiling means. If you look at average numbers and then talk about average numbers, that isn't profiling. It's just basic statistics.

    If you look at average numbers and then try to apply that average to a specific individual, that is profiling/discrimination/stupid or whatever other word you want to use.

  • 5Rs Jun 14, 2013

    "But that's the exception and not the rule and D.C. isn't a state, it's basically an inner city." - Plenty

    What, profiling? From a lib, no less.

    Much better to cherry-pick, a well-known tactic.

    If you compare NC with other states of similar demographics, what is the result?

    The real problem with achievement in public schools in NC is the buy-in to political correctness that began 30 years ago and has totally changed the basics. And it is not just NC, look at the poor English used on TV.

  • bill0 Jun 14, 2013

    "The eugenics, go after the people that did it. Confiscate any and all property and assets they may have and give it to the people that they harmed."

    You do know that it was the state of NC that ran these programs, right? That means they would have to come confiscate your assets as a taxpayer.

    "In Utah, the lowest per-student spending state, 21 percent of schools failed to meet the goals set under that federal education law"

    That is a very misleading and cherrypicked stat. Utah has virtually no minority population in most of the state. Most "failing" schools are failing because a minority group didn't make adequate progress. Also, if you are going to compare states, you need to adjust for the cost of living and property. It obviously costs a lot more to buy property, build a school, and staff it in NYC than anywhere in Utah.

  • Plenty Coups Jun 14, 2013

    Oh I see it now, you ignore all the student achievement data which is from 2011-2012 and you use the "per pupil spending" chart from 2009. Yes, that's a few years old. If it means anything to you, NC has dropped considerably in per pupil spending since 2009. That certainly doesn't help your argument in any way. You may also want to know that the FOX news report uses data from 2008-2009.

  • Plenty Coups Jun 14, 2013

    Report abuse


    Plenty-"The FOX news link you provided is old and used "No Child Left Behind Goals" which are essentially meaningless."

    Stilllearnin-"If my data is old, yours is older (2009)"

    Interested as to where you get the 2009 date from? The Annie Casey Foundation in the report uses all data from 2011 and 2012. Regardless, it isn't the point. No Child Left Behind Data is meaningless. It doesn't measure overall student achievement and its being discontinued. It merely tallies districts that have failing kids in any of a large number of subgroups. IT tries to find if EVERY kid made "adequate progress". It is absolutely worthless for trying to assess which state gets more bamg for its buck, which is what you try to use it for. The data is clear, states that spend more tend to get the best results over time. NAEP scores consistently show this correlation.

  • jss27560 Jun 13, 2013

    I usually find the letters the best part of most articles. according to 'whatelseisnew' we should go after the people that did it, referring to eugenics. Does he realize that it was the state of NC that did it? So by the state paying victims they are doing what he says they should. I assume that he is not talking about going after the members of the legislature & government employees that were following the law. Holding the house & senate members personally responsible for their votes would be an interesting idea.

  • Stilllearnin Jun 13, 2013

    "The FOX news link you provided is old and used "No Child Left Behind Goals" which are essentially meaningless."

    If my data is old, yours is older (2009)