Hours after its debut, state lawmakers began considering the Senate’s $21.2 billion budget proposal, a vast proposal that makes major shifts in state policy and spending.
The bill cleared its first hurdle at noon Thursday and next moves to two other committees with final Senate votes expected Friday and Saturday. But it is starting to face more push back.
Gov. Pat McCrory says he as “some very serious concerns” regarding how it affects state government operations.
“It’s my job as governor to protect the efficient and effective operations of state government and good customer service,” McCrory said Thursday. “And I think the budget submitted by the Senate causes us some great concerns in that area and we will be giving more details on what our concerns are.”
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Another major difference, McCrory said, is the Senate’s education spending plan. “ I think we need a more comprehensive approach, long-term sustainable and fiscally responsible approach on how we are going to pay our teachers in the future so it’s a career as opposed to a one-time pay increase. That’s not something I’m interested in,” he said. “So at this point in time, we have a major difference with the Senate and we hope to resolve those differences during the next several weeks.”
On the provision to shift the SBI to his administration in the Department of Public Safety, McCrory said: “Based on my discussion with other governors, that’s not an issue I have with that. Frankly there could be conflict of interest with the attorney general, who is an elected position.
Attorney General Roy Cooper, a Democrat, is considering a bid against McCrory in 2016. His office is assisting in an investigation of the state’s Department of Environment and Natural Resources regarding coal ash.
To get the latest on the budget, read more here.