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Mon July 14, 2014
Lawmakers To Spend At Least Another Week On State Budget
House and Senate leaders are back in Raleigh today to try to resolve large differences in their spending plans for the year.
They're now two weeks past their deadline, as they've been at odds over how much to pay teachers and at what cost. Senators want to give large raises of about 11 percent, but they would pay for them in part by cutting more than 6,000 teacher assistants.
House leaders have been adamant about providing more modest raises without laying off any educators or impacting the state's Medicaid health insurance program.
House Speaker Thom Tillis said he hopes to bridge the gap this week.
"The one thing we must do is to at least agree," he said. "If we agree to disagree on the other changes that we want to make in the budget, let's agree to fulfill the promise that we made in February."
Governor Pat McCrory and leaders from both chambers made a promise in February to raise beginning teacher pay to $35,000.
House and Senate negotiators are expected to hold a public meeting this afternoon.