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Final approval for House budget set for Thursday, school vouchers remain in spending plan (video)

The NC House gave tentative approval to a $20.6 Billion budget Wednesday after debating more than two dozen amendments.

Some of the most impassioned debate followed an amendment by  Rep. Ed Hanes Jr. — a primary sponsor of the controversial House Bill 944 — to take school vouchers out of House budget. The Forsyth County Democrat argued while he still supported vouchers, the issue was too important to tuck inside the budget where it would not “receive full consideration, discussion, and debate.”

Co-sponsors of the bill urged House members to vote against the proposal, ensuring the Opportunity  Scholarship Act would be funded.

Prior to the vote on Rep. Hanes’ amendment, House Speaker Thom Tillis took the unusual step of speaking in favor of vouchers, while also being careful to say that he no longer believes that K-12 public schools are broken.

The Hanes’ amendment, removing vouchers from the larger budget bill, failed 52-65.

Thursday’s debate on the full budget begins in the House at 9:00 a.m.

To watch some of the debate over school vouchers from Wednesday’s House session, click below:

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