GARY D. ROBERTSON
RALEIGH, NC (AP) -- North Carolina Senate Republicans are defending cuts proposed in their state government budget proposal to pay for teacher raises and for changes to Medicaid that reject Gov. Pat McCrory's reform plan.
The Senate GOP's $21 billion budget for next year cleared committees Thursday. The chamber should pass the bill by this weekend.
The budget would create a new salary schedule with teacher raises above 10 percent with a catch - teachers must give up job protections. Republicans would cut by nearly half the amount of money going to pay teacher assistants to help pay for raises. GOP Sen. Jerry Tillman says lawmakers had to find reductions somewhere.
The measure also would move toward reorganizing the state Medicaid office, rather than embrace McCrory's proposal that's backed by hospitals and doctors.
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