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RALEIGH, NC (WWAY) — A budget plan unveiled by Republican leaders in Raleigh today would mean more money to teachers and less money for Hollywood.

House Speaker Thom Tillis and Senate leader Phil Berger announced the $21.25 billion budget plan during a news conference Tuesday.

Their plan gives teachers an average seven-percent raise, preserves teacher assistant positions and makes a one-percent cut to the Medicaid reimbursement rate for health care providers.

It also allots $10 million for a film incentive grant program. That’s considerably less than the current film incentive program that has no overall budget cap.

“We are disappointed by the $10 million grant set aside for film in the proposed state budget,” EUE/Screen Gems Executive Vice President Bill Vassar said in a statement. “The legislative session is likely to last another 72 hours. Rep. Ted Davis and other members of the House are working diligently to find additional funding that will keep the North Carolina film industry alive. In the waning moments of the past legislative sessions, film has been recognized as an important economic engine to the North Carolina economy. We are hopeful for similar results in this session before the end of this week.”

Local folks, who work in the film industry, feel Republicans in the state legislature are missing out on the residual impacts film has not only in the Port City, but across the state.

“That’s the stuff that they don’t get a handle on,” said Ed Wagonseller, a local actor and film teacher. “We have people coming over from Europe to come tour the studios and see the place where ‘One Tree Hill’ was filmed. Where’s that on the ledger sheets? It doesn’t exist.”

Republican budget writers say the spending proposal maintains funding for the university system and reforms the pay structure for teachers. It also increases pay for Highway Patrol troopers. Most state workers will get a $1,000 raise a five bonus vacation days.

Gov. Pat McCrory has previously said he would veto a budget with a teacher raise over seven percent. Berger said McCrory still has some concerns but has been updated as the plan has taken shape.

“I think some of the concern was if we got to seven percent, how could we do it and could we convince him that the mechanics are in place?” Tillis said of discussions with the governor over the weekend. “I think that we can.”

The budget draft is set to be released either tonight or tomorrow with votes in the Senate and House by the end of the week.

Democratic House leader Rep. Larry Hall told WTVD in Raleigh that he and other lawmakers feel shut out of this budget process and that they have not seen the package. He says he’s eager to see the proposal Republican leaders drafted and whether it will be sustainable.

(Information from the Associated Press and WTVD was used in this story)

Comment on this Story

  • nccool123

    If corporate subs generate jobs why do we not do it for all jobs. The numbers show that small companies supply the most jobs to the market. Why we pick and choose who win’s and fails…..

  • Doc H

    This vote shows that some state employees are more valuable than others. Wonder how that’s gonna play out with the rest who get time off about enough to pay more in taxes. The people running this state are idiots, just like the people who voted for them.

  • frustrated

    Ok North Carolinians this is not a 7% pay raise. In the budget they are cutting a longevity payment to teachers witch is as high as 4.5%. Subtracted from 7% gives. 3.5 %, Which comes out to about a $1,200 raise. So its about equal to State workers raise. Which we had to pay for a college degree.

  • Machiavel

    So if we were on a grading system we would still be a complete failure…still a great big HAHA, and a very sad joke.

  • USMC

    How much you want to bet the teachers will still whine “Sum Tin Wong, Wi Tu Lo”? What gets me is they knew the pay scale when they decided to teach in NC. They have no room to moan and groan.

  • SurfCityTom

    and review reading comprehension.

    The 7% pay hike, along with other adjustments, immediately elevates NC to 36th nationally.

    In the southeast region, near the top.

    I guess the HA HA and egg foo yung are on your face.

  • SurfCityTom

    tenure for teachers was not touched. Teaching assistants were left alone.

    State employees, other than Highway Patrol, receive $1,000 plus 5 additional vacation days.

    Guess we’ll see if the teachers can comment without whining it’s not enough. Guess we’ll see if the film industry supporters learned anything about the legislative process and effective lobbying.

  • Timekeeper

    I suppose by job security you are referring to tenure. There never should have been such a thing as tenure. If a teacher is doing his job, that is job security enough. Teachers are no better than any other paid employee and if not performing up to par should be terminated. As for assistants, they should have been gone long ago. Any competent teacher should be able to conduct a class and keep order without help. Think of the savings if this were still the case.

  • Machiavel

    47th in the nation for teacher pay. Proud?

  • Shaun ORourke

    36th in the nation is nothing to be proud of. Judging from the comments on this thread NC will continue to churn out uneducated voters which is what the GOP is crossing their fingers for.

  • albert blackshaw

    Teaching assistants were touched. No one has in fact even seen the full budget or where all the funds were appropriated from to comment on it intelligently or accurately (I know that won’t stop Surf City tom though – it never has before), but it is known that $65million earmarked for Teaching Assistants was eliminated and put into the allocation for teacher pay increases. Also the 7% increase touted is not applicable to all teachers or school employees.

    Lots of unknowns here. Berger and Tillis only touted the favorable aspects of the legislation. The devil is in the details they did not report.

  • SPTman

    I guess by “effective lobbying” you mean buying the vote of politicians. That’s what you espouse as effective legislating? You’re part of the problem, then. 75% of hundreds of millions in economic activity is better than 100% of ZERO. This is an ideological decision…”Hollywood ain’t getting none ‘o my money”! Well played. Now the Koch Brothers (aka Americans for Prosperity) can bring some smoke stacks or other dirty industry to NC under the public-private partnership. That’s what they “lobbied” against the film incentives for. Oh wait, it was for scholarships for poor NC families. My bad.

  • beach guy

    48TH in education Proud?

  • guest123123

    Teachers and the Highway Patrol. Same old story. I was with the state for 17 plus years and those two groups always seemed to fair better than the rest of us. I didnt complain!! Just left!!

  • Guest2020

    Either way, teachers make above the average salary for all workers in North Carolina. Too bad we cannot say the same for police officers.

  • c b

    I wonder where all of you complainer were just a very few years ago? You never say any thing about the one’s that put us in this mess. How can you folks not remember any thing any more? How Sad

  • Machiavel

    Do you realize you are arguing against having qualified people teach our kids? That is the only point we hear over and over again, essentially- if you don’t like it go elsewhere. So after all the qualified and passionate teachers leave, what will you complain about next? Oh yes that’s right, it will be about new immigrants stepping in to take the jobs. Once we realize that the news media outlets are driving us to have these fights-don’t care which, CNN, FOX, MSNBC, or any other-it makes us take our eye off of the fact that nothing will get better till people can make a decent living at their jobs. Being, I am assuming, a veteran(and if you are thank you for your service by the way) you know horrible things can be when your job doesn’t pay you quite enough, and your health benefits are in short supply. You also no doubt know the ladder on promotion in the military was pulled up a while ago, so pay grades are frozen. These are things that one should be angry about. We should thank each and every teacher that stays to serve our children despite growing disrespect and government interference in their jobs. But if you listen to the media- teachers have it easy. Summers off, tenure, and no accountability. If you care to know the real story go volunteer in a downtown school and see the picnic those teachers have. I will assure you once faced with reality you will never listen to the media again.

  • Religious Zealot

    A 7% raise? What a coincidence. The NC House just gave Dominion Power the go ahead to charge a 7% sales tax to customers. Hmmmm—

  • taxpayer

    “The NC House just gave Dominion Power the go ahead to charge a 7% sales tax to customers. Hmmmm—”

    Your power comes from Duke.

  • SurfCityTom

    film incentives converted to a grant program with a $10,000,000 allocation for the fiscal year.

    It will be up for revision during the next legislative term in 2015.

    So, will film entusiasts get an organized lobbying effort in place to go after a better incentive package?

    OR, will they continue with their disorganized, backbiting, ineffective attempts which proved how poorly run the film industry lobbyists and film offices are?

    History repeats itself. They likely learned nothing. Johnny is planning a Wilmington rally for next June.

  • Machiavel

    Let me guess, the 7%, which is an embarrassment, will be contingent on teachers signing away any sense of job security. Lucky those Hollywood liberals have been put in place.

  • Vog46

    I’m not sure that “history repeats itself” or anything else will help this incentive program. My reason for this pessimism lies in the fact that even staunch Republicans are seeing that revenue predictions were far more optimistic than reality is – and next year looks worse.
    While NC is not as bad as Kansas is, I would say that they may have cut too far too fast – but, that will play out over time.
    The Legislature may be faced with some very stark choices next year.


  • 1234543

    It makes me very angry that anyone is getting any raises right now at the expense of the taxpayers, taxes and the cost of living is running away and the taxpayers need a break first, when the rest of the expenses are brought into line then if and maybe raises for government workers could be considered, especially if they are willing to pick up their own health care cost as most of the private sector has been forced to do. It is tough times on us all, and we all should have to make some sacrifices.

  • Jay Flowers

    The State Legislature is not giving teachers a 7% raise. They are doing away with bonuses teachers get for working 10 years plus and then 15 years plus. Take away these career bonuses and you’ve given a healthy supplement to any raise. They are not raises; they are a redistribution of funds that make an uneducated public seem as if a victory has occurred.

  • trash

    We have not had a raise in 8 years. They give us bonus days hoping that will make us happy. Try putting a bonus day in the full tank or on the table. Quit flapping your gums you ungrateful jerk.

  • Concerned

    As I have said before, North Carolina is DONE with the film industry. You can look at your friends and fellow workers that voted for these moronic Republicans. Look around the film industry and you will see people right beside you that voted for Mccrory and his buddies. Look around you have rigging gaffers, upms construction coordinators and on and all sorts of film workers that voted for these people. Don’t blame the lawmakers .blame your co workers who voted these clowns into office .

  • guesty

    You can’t put anything in the full tank because, wait for it, it is full.

  • guest123123

    This is were the mindset of certain groups of people differ. I worked for the state for 17 plus years and left in 08 for greener pastures.( My own business). I had many years of no raises and just bonus days. What did I do when I took those bonus days and got paid for being off. I worked my second job and got more money that week because I was off from the state and still getting paid.Then there was more money to pay for that tank of gas or more food for the table. When will you folks ever learn. Government workers, what a joke!!!

  • guest45

    Ungrateful?????????????? I am very ungrateful that the teachers union has always backed Demorat’s agenda, which has kept the state of NC in the dark ages, I am also ungrateful that after all the years you teachers had to police your own the kid’s in this state are still not getting a quality education, is that because NC hires less than quality teachers? I am also ungrateful because people with the kind of education you teachers are supposed to possess, you folks were not competent enough to see that your retirement was funded, which would have saved us taxpayers if the money that was supposed to have been set aside for your retirements would have been set aside instead of an IOU, these things make me ungrateful, and your performance proves just who the real jerk is, thank you.

  • SurfCityTom

    I don’t disagree with you. The film industry family and supporters just don’t get it.

    The current fiscal year budget is now set and likely will be signed on Friday after a full vote. Yet some cling to the hope that mysterious funds will appear which allows a better program now. The funds are not there.

    So now, the supporters can begin to effectively lobby, now, for the 2015 legislative session. Or, they can repeat history; moan and cry the earth is ending; and Johnny can organize riverfront rallies for thousands which might draw a few hundred.

    Now that it’s set, Johnny suddenly reports on all of the money donated by the film industry. He notes they never make a big deal of it as they don’t want to draw attention to themselves. What a crock of horse hooey.

  • Abbert Blackshaw

    And yet all the Republicans except a handful support HB 1224, which a huge new incentives bill, the biggest in the history of the state, that does indeed “pick winners and losers” and favors potential job creation over maintaining already existing jobs. Almost the entire Republican majority have now suddenly changed their perspectives on incentives since their former stance when they voted against Perdue’s efforts to do the same to lure Continental Tire. Suddenly incentives are a good thing, but only when Republicans institute and oversee them or when they benefit their specific constituents.

    In a time when we supposedly have no money to use for incentives, Republicans in the House and Senate have agreed to pass the largest incentives bill the state has ever enacted. And you guys don’t see the hypocrisy.

  • Vog46

    ” And you guys don’t see the hypocrisy.”
    Actually I do see it. After years of uncontrolled and uncapped incentives that produced nothing of benefit to the state, our Legislature has said cap it. Now that they are proposing a capped incentive to lure companies here you’re screaming hypocrisy?
    What’s up with that?

    I hate BOTH programs, but if they believe this is the say to go I’ll give them a couple of years of capped incentives to try. In a couple of years if this doesn’t work then our votes will dictate which way we want the state to proceed.
    After hundreds of MILLIONS of dollars spent to have the profits go back to CA, along with the incomes of the highest paid people – the state is saying lets try something different to KEEP the highest paid employees here in NC.
    Besides, what will you care if you’re in Georgia?
    Or was THAT a false argument too?


  • beach guy

    Most of the posters here except for a couple sound like a bunch of baby birds complaining because momma does not have enough worms to go around
    You know folks sooner or later you will run out of worms and all the baby birds will go hungry or they will mature enough to go and get their own worms kinda makes sense don’t It

  • Mike Sasser

    I will never vote for another republican again. Never again. Go to hell NCGOP!!!

  • Mr.T

    Is where I would guess most of these chest pounders that post here are in life. One stroke, one missed heart beat, one accident away from the nursing home.. Yet our leaders in Raleigh determine that we need a 1% decrease in Medicaid for the next two years. It’s strange to me that they fail to except that our population avg, age is growing. Our state is growing in retirees at a larger rate than any other segment. Our working population is paying for other states like Az. Calf. and Fla. to enjoy medicaid expansion while we toy with some private state plan??
    In NC we are collecting less gas tax,less income tax and sales tax yet our leaders reduce tax levels and increase fees on our least fortunate.
    The Federal Highway Fund is at it’s lowest point and may become insolvent. Hundreds of NC highway projects are in jeopardy and thousands of jobs are also in jeopardy. Folks have a hard time realizing that every aspect of our economy is intermingled and in order to keep this giant wheel turning we must keep all our work force active including film. Even our unemployment system which everyone understands is far from perfect helps maintain balance within our economy. What would you imagine would happen to the price of gas, groceries, medicine, ect if we eliminated unemployment and food stamps.
    We have the wrong mix in Raleigh, I hope we have the good sense to change.

  • Teacher’s husband

    What the article (or legislature) isn’t saying is that with this raise they will also be ending longevity pay. This is a “little extra” all state employees get based on years of service.

    My wife’s longevity pay is currently 4%. 7%-4% = 3% raise for my wife.

    3% is a slap in the face, but considered to what they’ve received over the past several years it seems great. My wife has been teaching 17 years. Thanks to increased taxes (State and Federal), higher cost of benefits and no raises, her take home pay now is less than it was 10 years ago.

  • Non-whiny teacher

    Longevity pay is being eliminated! Do the math!
    Oh. My. Gosh.
    No words….


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