North Carolina House Republicans presented Monday afternoon their proposed budget for the next two years. In total, the budget spends $20.6 billion.
“In the first year we spend around $12 million less than the Senate and around $188 million less than the governor,” said Rep. Nelson Dollar, the chairman of the House Appropriations Committee.
The total dollar difference between the House and Senate plans seem relatively small, but both chambers include their very different plans to overhaul the state tax code by lowering corporate and income taxes, and expanding sales tax. The House expects its overhaul to cost $500 million, compared to the Senate’s $700 million.
The House Appropriations Committee is scheduled to vote on the plan tomorrow, with a final vote as soon as Thursday.
Other policy differences, which the governor and two chambers will need to reconcile:
- The House plan sets aside $10 million, or $50,000 each, to survivors of North Carolina’s forced sterilization program—in-line with Gov. Pat McCrory’s proposal. The Senate does not include the provision in its budget.
- The budgets also differ on public education spending, the state's pre-kindergarten program and the future of the State Bureau of Investigation.
- Like the Senate, the House wouldn't give pay raises this coming year to state employees and teachers. McCrory wants 1 percent pay raises. The House would give five extra paid days of leave to workers and set aside $160 million for potential pay raises in the 2014-15 fiscal year, which Dollar said is about the amount needed for a 1 percent pay raise.
- Neither the House nor the Senate provides money to meet McCrory's requests to restore funding for local drug treatment courts. The House did provide $4.8 million more money for substance abuse treatment for offenders at higher risks for recidivism.
- The Raleigh News and Observer reports “the House cuts about 738 state jobs, about half the 1,495 the Senate would cut.
Other notes from the press conference:
- The budget reduces state funding for wildlife resources by 11 percent.
- It eliminates 631 vacant transportation positions.
- It cuts funding for the University of North Carolina by $5 million.
- It allocates $2.3 million to fund the creation of a voter ID system.
- It adds $25 million to continue the roll out of a statewide radio system for emergency responders (the VIPER plan).
The Associated Press contributed to this report.