Raleigh, N.C. — House lawmakers didn't just tweak the state budget adopted last month by the Senate. They basically tossed out the Senate plan and started over.
Gone are the 11 percent raises for teachers that come at the price of thousands of teaching assistants and the loss of tenure. Instead, the House offers 5 percent raises with no strings attached, relying on lottery proceeds to pay for it.
Gone are cuts to Medicaid that would have left about 15,000 elderly and disabled people without coverage and would have halted an effort to reform the program to contain costs. Instead, the House left eligibility and the reform drive in place.
The House also included various special provisions, such as looking to sell Jennette's Pier in Nags Head, prohibiting youths under 18 from using tanning beds and requiring schools to stock Epi-Pens.
Outside of the budget, the Senate passed a tort reform bill after stripping out provisions that would have limited product liability lawsuits, and the House passed its version of legislation overhauling the Commerce Department.