House tentatively passes 2-year budget; final vote Thursday
RALEIGH -- The North Carolina House has given initial approval to its state government budget plan for the next two years.
The chamber voted 77-41 Wednesday night to the proposal written largely by Republicans. House members debated for seven hours and voted on more than 25 amendments.
House Democrats say they're not happy.
"I think it still harms a lot of people, children, we really have not done what we need to do for public education," said Rep. Alma Adams, (D) Guilford
Republicans, however, believe they've done their best.
"Excellent budget under the circumstances," said Rep. Paul Stam, (R) Wake. "We're in the fifth year of a bad recession and we're able to fund all essential services and move forward."
- Reserve funds and money for infrastructure projects for economic growth
- Funding for the state health plan
- Job development
- Safety initiatives for students k through 12.
"We have made significant improvements to the state budget since we inherited a multi-billion dollar deficit two years ago," said House Speaker Thom Tillis. "Once again, the House has passed a balanced budget that reduces taxes, and that is a significant accomplishment."
There have been protests every Monday for more than a month. Not everyone is pleased, and they say unfair concessions were made in this budget.
"I think we gave tax breaks to rich folks, on the backs of poor people," said Adams.
With Republicans holding the majority, and backing the plan as it is now, it looks like the budget is well on its way to passing the House.
A final House vote is expected Thursday. The Senate approved its budget proposal three weeks ago. The two chambers should begin negotiations in earnest next week with the aim of getting a compromise to Gov. Pat McCrory by the end of the month. The competing plans each spend $20.6 billion next year.
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