Local News

State Budget Talks Come Down To Details

Posted July 13, 2004 7:56 a.m. EDT

— State lawmakers remain locked in a budget battle.

Of a $15 billion state budget, $15 million worth of disagreements are keeping lawmakers from passing a final version.

The House and the Senate have agreed to spend $52 million on classroom size reduction, $9 million on a kindergarten and pre-school program and to give state employees up to a 2.5 percent pay raise.

"I hate to sound trite, but the Devil's in the details," said Sen. Linda Garrou, D-Winston-Salem. "There's a lot of special provisions we need to iron out, differences. We agreed on money, and you'd think that'd be done, but there are a lot of other small things."

Those details include a motorsports test track -- the Senate wants it; the House does not, and how much scholarship money to give to state universities -- the Senate wants more; the House wants less.

It is likely the full House and Senate will not vote on a final budget until Wednesday or Thursday.

"Everyone wants to leave in July and hopefully it'll be this week," said Rep, Richard Morgan, House co-speaker.

The state's new fiscal year started July 1.