Republican leaders in the General Assembly have established initial budget targets. The targeted total spending is reportedly about $18.5 billion – or roughly $1.4 billion less than Gov. Perdue’s budget proposal. The bulk of the $1.4 billion discrepancy comes from the Republicans’ desire to allow the “temporary” sales tax hike to fully expire, and not to push down unfunded education spending onto local entities. Combined, those two measures amount to roughly $900 million.
Republicans have a narrower target because they do not want to keep the temporary sales tax increase that Perdue included in her budget, which would raise $826.6 million in revenue. Legislators also decided they would not push millions in expenses on to local governments as Perdue did, said Sen. Pete Brunstetter, a Republican from Winston-Salem and a budget committee chairman.
Note: WRAL is reporting slightly different numbers – saying the Republican targets total $18.3 billion.