Senate raises spending stakes

The Senate budget proposal released today spends more than early target numbers. Here's a quick overview, part 1.

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Laura Leslie

Overall, the Senate budget spends $19.4 B.  That's a little more than the $19.3B House budget, but still half a billion less than the Governor’s $19.9B proposal.  

Or to look at it another way, the Senate budget is 2.4% smaller than Perdue's proposal, while the House is 3.1% smaller. 

Total positions cut in the Senate plan: About 19,000, according to the Fiscal Research Division.


The Senate spends $141M more on education than the House did. 

  • $62M more on K-12 than House (but that’s still about 250M less than the Gov proposed)
  • $9M less on Community Colleges than House  (about 34M less than the Gov)
  • $88M more on Universities than House  (but still 129M less than the Gov)

The Senate version would fund 1100 more teachers for K-3, but would cut all funding for teachers' aides in grades 1-3, about 13,000 positions.

It cuts state funding for school buses. After next year, local districts will have to buy their own buses.

It ends funding for multiple school districts in one county. Starting in 2012, counties with two districts will get state funding for only one of them. 

It dismantles the NC Partnership for Children, the state's administrative body for Smart Start. 


Health and Human Services

In top-line numbers, the Senate spends $28M less than the House.  But DHHS Secretary Lanier Cansler says if you factor in program transfers including More at Four, the real cuts in the Senate proposal are more like $60M deeper than the House, and about $370M deeper than the Gov. 

It also makes deeper cuts than the House did to mental health, nonprofit service providers, Medicaid reimbursement rates, and community support.

Natural and Economic Resources

NER comes out better in the Senate plan than under either the governor or the House, although the Dept. of Environment and Natural Resources still takes a big hit.  Other parts of that budget area do better, like Agriculture and Consumer Services and Rural Economic Development.

Tax cuts 

The Senate plan includes a ¼% tax cut for each of the state’s three income-tax brackets. It allows the temporary one-cent sales tax and high-earner income surtax to expire.  And it would exempt  the first $50,000 a small business makes per year. 

Other cuts 

The Senate plan gets rid of Energy Star tax credits for energy-efficient appliances. It also raises parking fees in state lots from one dollar per hour to two dollars per hour. 

More as I can get it posted.  It's been a crazy day. 


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