The Senate $19.4 billion budget cuts taxes across the board on personal income. There are also a new tax exemption for small businesses of up to $50,000. One of the chief budget writers Senator Bob Rucho (R-Mecklenberg) told a press conference those would help create thousands of jobs.
The Senate version spends more on public schools than the House plan. It would increase the number of teachers in grades 1 through 3 to reduce class size. At the same time, the Senators would develop a program to base teacher pay on performance not seniority.
There is also a provision in the Senate spending plan to extend unemployment benefits for those who have been unemployed for 77 weeks.
Senate President Pro Tem Phil Berger (R-Rockingham) noted the Governor has already hinted she doesn’t like the Senate version. The statement came out before the budget was released.
The Senate budget would also consolidate the departments of Correction, Crime Control and Public Safety and Juvenile Justice, just as the House version did. Both budgets would also combine oversight for ethics and elections.
The House will likely not concur with the Senate plan so the budget would go into a conference committee. Then, of course, the Governor may veto the final version. At that point lawmakers would pass a continuing resolution to the keep the government running. They gave the Governor one such resolution already but she vetoed it. It was attached to the extension of unemployment benefits.