Raleigh, N.C. — The Senate was set to meet shortly after midnight Friday to hold its final vote on a $22.2 billion spending plan for 2016-17 that it gave preliminary approval to on Thursday.
The budget includes raises for teachers, but not so much for other state workers and nothing for retirees. It also includes a personal income tax cut.
Policy-wise, a provision to discount tuition at five University of North Carolina campuses to provide a more affordable college option to people was whittled to two campuses after a major outcry from supporters of historically black schools that the plan would reduce needed funding at the schools and stigmatize them as providing a lower-quality education.
There was also a heated debate over a provision to toss regulations to limit nutrient runoff in Falls Lake and Jordan Lake in favor of a statewide policy by 2019 and an experiment to see if freshwater mussels can improve water quality in the lake.
In the House, lawmakers passed a measure to turn management of five low-performing schools over to for-profit charter school companies and a bill to cancel a state contract to build toll lanes on Interstate 77 near Charlotte.