Raleigh, N.C. — Despite rumors that the General Assembly could adjourn the 2016 session by mid-June, differences are already appearing between the House and the Senate spending plans that portend lengthy negotiations.
Although the Senate won't begin working on its budget until next week, Senate President Pro Tem Phil Berger rolled out a teacher pay plan Wednesday that is markedly different from what the House included in its budget.
Meanwhile, the House passed a bill that would resurrect the Coal Ash Management Commission and reignite the dispute between lawmakers and Gov. Pat McCrory over oversight of the cleanup process of dozens of coal ash ponds statewide.
On the education front, a House committee approved a measure that would allow private companies to take over management of low-performing schools, and a Senate committee passed a bill that would cut tuition at five schools in the University of North Carolina system to $500 a semester and guarantee no tuition increases at the other 11 UNC schools for the four or five years someone takes to earn a bachelor's degree.