Republican leaders in the state Senate have released a $19.4 billion dollar budget that would still make deep cuts to education. The Senate plan would give more money to public schools and universities than a House plan passed a few weeks ago, but community colleges would receive less funding. The proposed Senate budget would also lower personal income taxes, exempt small businesses from paying some taxes and establish merit pay for teachers. Phil Berger is the President Pro Tem of the Senate.
Phil Berger: "This budget keeps the promises that Republican candidates made to the voters last fall. It keeps the promises that the government, state government has made to the people to provide core services including public education for the people of North Carolina."
Republican leaders plant letting a temporary one cent sales tax expire- it was passed by a Democratic legislature a year ago. Democrats argue that Republicans should continue the tax to prevent education cuts. Republican leaders in the Senate plan to bring the budget plan to the floor for a vote next week.