NC Senate passes budget, sends it to the House
RALEIGH, North Carolina: After a heated debate, the North Carolina State Senate voted 30-16 to pass a $19 billion budget plan for the upcoming year. The state is projecting a budget gap of $800 million to $1 billion for the coming fiscal year, and agreeing on what services to cut has been a struggle. In the plan, expenses were cut in dozens of state agencies, including a 9% spending cut in the Department of Health and Human Services. Public education was mostly exempted from the worst cuts, but the House is said to be looking at up to $200 million in additional cuts from education.
The Senate version does not include any sweeping tax increases, but does keep higher temporary sales and income taxes which were approved last year. It also gives local school districts and the University of North Carolina system the authority to furlough teachers and other employees, and state employees and teachers will receive no raises. The new fiscal year will begin July 1, and the House is aiming to have its version approved by June 3.
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