Senate budget: At first glance

After a three-day weekend, legislators return to Raleigh today where all eyes will be on the NC Senate’s budget. The House passed its $23.9 billion spending plan in early May, and now the Senate is revealing its priorities.

Monday evening, Senate President Pro Tem Phil Berger teased out a few highlights including the promise of:

  • $1.3 billion in additional spending for public education over two years
  • average teacher raises (excluding bonuses) of 3.5 % over two years
  • Funding for 100 new school psychologists
  • A 5% raise over two years for most full-time state employees
  • $1.1 billion for the state’s Rainy Day Fund over two years

Berger will talk more about the Senate’s budget during a 10:00am press conference.

Appropriations subcommittees will meet throughout the day Tuesday to discuss various aspects of the Senate plan. The full Senate Appropriations Committee will vote on the budget plan Wednesday, followed by expected floor votes Thursday and Friday.

Of course, the devil is in the details when it comes to the budget.

How are the raises funded? What items get cut to make way for new spending? And which items receive one-time money versus recurring dollars?

While we wait to learn more about the Senate budget, make time to listen to our recent radio interview with state Rep. Susan Fisher of Buncombe County.

Fisher talks about shortcomings in the House budget, her new bill to help homeless youth in North Carolina, and why the Medicaid expansion debate may keep lawmakers in Raleigh well into the fall.

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