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Here’s the big questions in Raleigh this week: Will we see a budget deal before the start the new fiscal year?

The Senate Appropriations Committee appears to be ready to pass a continuing resolution as early as Tuesday, which would keep state government running if no agreement is reached and signed by the Governor by July 1st.

Rep. Verla Insko notes that lawmakers would have had more spending flexibility if they had opted to expand Medicaid under the Affordable Health Care Act, a decision rejected by Governor McCrory in February.

“It would have brought in a lot of extra money and filled a lot of holes,” explained Insko. “But I have to say…I don’t understand why anyone who has the opportunity to provide health care for 500,000 poor people, including little kids, wouldn’t do it. It’s just mind-boggling.”

Insko, who appeared over the weekend on News & Views with Chris Fitzsimon, discussed the impact of budget cuts on higher education and health care, and why she believes the crowds are getting bigger with each passing Moral Monday.

For an excerpt of her radio interview, click below. To hear the full segment or download a podcast, visit the Radio Interview section of the NC Policy Watch website:

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In any public policy debate, fact-based analysis is critical. As North Carolina continues to discuss a major overhaul to the state’s tax code, there are numerous analyses that allow lawmakers and the public to see how the Senate tax plan will impact taxpayers and the state.

Here are a few of the best resources and analysis:

In the face of such evidence, lawmakers should scrap the current tax plans and instead look for a way to reform the tax code without hurting middle-class and low-income families and local communities.

It’s hard to know what to make of the news trickling out of the back rooms where House and Senate leaders are working on a tax cut deal. And yes, it’s about cutting taxes now, not reforming the tax code.

House Speaker Thom Tillis told the News & Observer that the two sides must “breach a philosophical divide,” which doesn’t sound like they are close to an agreement.

But the last line of a story by NC Capitol at WRAL.com says that Tillis and Senate President Pro Tem Phil Berger believe a deal could be done this week. That’s not much time for philosophical divide breaching.

There are also whispers in the legislative halls that some folks are pushing for a bare bones budget deal now and a special session on taxes in a few weeks.

The North Carolina House approved a budget last week that would chart the wrong path for North Carolina, according to a new brief released by the N.C. Budget & Tax Center. Similar to their colleagues in the Senate, the House leadership was intent on including tax cuts for the wealthy and profitable corporations in their budget at the expense of everyone else. The result is a budget that falls far short of meeting the needs of children, working families and communities across major budget areas.

In the House tax and budget plan, these tax cuts will cost $528.6 million in lost revenue over the next two years, with the cost ballooning to $651.1 million annually once the plan is fully implemented in the 2018 fiscal year. These figures represent the net tax changes of the House tax plan plus the repeal of the estate tax. Even worse, 95 percent of taxpayers, on average, would see their taxes go up in addition to cuts in vital public services under the House’s formula for “prosperity.” Read More