North Carolina General Assembly

Hoping it will help jump start negotiations on North Carolina’s budget, state senators are offering major concessions to the House. But they want something in return. 

For weeks now senior budget writers from both the House and Senate have been talking, just not about the numbers in their budgets.

"We have had discussion on the economic development proposals and the Medicaid proposals," said Senate President Pro-Tem Phil Berger.

  "I think we are....," Berger then took a long pause before finishing,"closer than we have ever been in getting those things worked out."

The legislature was back in session Wednesday.  As expected, Tim Moore of Kings Mountain was elected House Speaker and Phil Berger of Eden Senate President Pro-Tem. 

The two outlined their priorities at a press conference. Berger said the legislature intends to build on issues the Republican legislature has tackled over the past four years. 

North Carolina teachers would receive an average $5,800 raise next year under the Senate’s plan to boost teacher pay. But there’s a trade-off. Teachers must give up tenure to get the raise and to help fund the raises the number of teaching assistants would be cut in half.

North Carolina lawmakers are trying again this year to push through a number of changes to education, including getting rid of teacher tenure. 

That got dropped from an education bill Senator Pro Tem Phil Berger introduced last year.  He’s hopeful it’ll pass this year since Republicans increased their numbers in the General Assembly.  Berger says doing away with tenure is one more way to ensure each student has a good teacher.