Senate Budget Adjustment Improves Education Without Raising Taxes or Incurring Debt
The North Carolina Senate released adjustments to the current two-year bipartisan budget Sunday evening.
The current budget filled a $2.5 billion deficit Republicans inherited after assuming leadership of the General Assembly, reduced government spending by nearly $1 billion, enacted a $50,000 income tax exemption for job-creating businesses and reformed public education – without raising taxes or incurring debt.
As a result of the tough but responsible decisions made last year, the budget is in great shape, allowing the Senate to pass targeted adjustments to address critical areas and invest in key priorities.
- It restores $158 million in recurring state dollars that were scheduled to be cut in the second year back into the state’s K-12 education system.
- It continues to fully fund at the state level all classroom teachers and teaching assistants. In fact, it increases state level funding for teachers.
- It provides $47.4 million for an education reform program to strengthen student literacy, improve graduation rates, increase accountability in the classroom, reward effective teachers and give parents tools to make better informed decisions about their children’s education.
- It puts $230 million back into our Medicaid program to meet anticipated needs for the coming year and pay back liabilities we inherited from the Democrats. The bill also puts an extra $100 million into the rainy day fund to protect against potential shortfalls.
- It cuts and freezes the state gas tax to 37.5 cents per gallon – 1.4 cents per gallon less than the current rate.
- It provides state employees a 1.2 percent raise. Our K-12, community college and university systems are given some flexibility on how to use this money to recruit, retain and reward excellent instructors.
“We already have a sound, bipartisan budget in place. The main purpose of this short session is to make necessary adjustments to it, and that’s exactly what we intend to do,” said Senate President Pro Tempore Phil Berger (R-Rockingham). “Our current budget ended the old way of governing that taxed frivolously and spent wastefully. Instead, we adopted the same common-sense approach North Carolina families use when building their own budgets – we established priorities, tightened our belt and spent within our means. This budget adjustment builds on these core principles, allowing our state to increase funding for key priorities like education, solve problems in Medicaid we inherited, and continue reducing taxes so North Carolinians can keep more of their hard earned money.”Tweet