Lawmakers to get rundown of Gov. McCrory's spending plan

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Lawmakers get rundown of Gov. Pat McCrory's budget (WTVD)

Gov. Pat McCrory's spending plan for the coming year will get scrutiny from legislators charged with assembling North Carolina's budget.

The House and Senate appropriations committee members met together Wednesday for a presentation on McCrory's proposed adjustments to the second year of the two-year budget approved last September.


McCrory proposed his new budget last Friday that includes more money for teachers while not increasing taxes or fees.

"My budget invests dollars where they matter most by spending on key priorities that have the biggest impact on North Carolinians and their families," said Governor McCrory. "These investments build on our commitment to strengthen education, enhance public safety, improve the health of our citizens, build new roads that connect our communities, all while reforming government to make it more accountable and efficient."

McCrory's 2016-17 fiscal year plan includes boosting average teacher pay to more than $50,000 with an average 5-percent pay increase. There would also be an average 3.5 percent bonus for teachers and principals with a greater share going to veteran teachers. Veteran teachers with more than 24 years of service would get about $5,000.

"I believe that most of my colleagues and I here are concerned about the teachers who are maxed out," said Sen. Gladys A. Robinson (D-Guilford). "To get just a one time bonus is not good, because what do you do in terms of compensating them in the long run?"

"I think what the governor has been trying to do and I think the Senate agrees is to try to adjust some of these salaries throughout the state to where they kind of match the market," said Majority Leader Sen. Harry Brown (R-Jones, Onslow). "When you do across the board pay raises what you do is exacerbate the problem."

The governor wants to increase the state's rainy day fund to $1.4 billion, or nearly 7 percent of overall state spending.

It caps total spending at $22.3 billion - or a spending increase of 2.8 percent.

The proposed budget is just a recommendation for the General Assembly.

The House will draw up and approve changes first. Speaker Tim Moore says his chamber wants to send its version to the Senate by May 20. The Senate then will create its own plan. The two sides will negotiate a final compromise they'll ask McCrory to sign.

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