@NCCapitol

@NCCapitol

Berger talks jobless benefits, Senate budget

Posted May 3, 2011 10:57 p.m. EDT

Senate Leader Phil Berger told reporters today his caucus doesn’t plan to try again to extend benefits for 37,000 jobless north Carolinians.

“Our position all along has been, we passed the bill that extended the benefits. It’s really up to the House to override the governor’s veto,” Berger said. 

However, he added, “If the governor’s got a proposal that she would consider to be a compromise, we’d be interested in hearing what it is.”

Berger also said House and Senate Finance committees may meet jointly next week to talk about a $230 million tax cut package that would lower corporate tax rates and help create jobs. “We believe if we can leave more money in the pockets of individual citizens, small busineses, that in and of itself will have a positive effect on job numbers.”

Berger says the Senate’s budget will likely be smaller than the House’s plan, which he says exceeds some original targets. And he says the two plans they may differ on how education spending is divided between K-12 and university spending. But otherwise, he says the Senate budget, expected to emerge in a couple of weeks, will probably look a lot like the House proposal.

Watch the whole press conference below.