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Legislators battle with state budget cuts

READ MORE: Legislators battle with state budget cuts
The North Carolina legislature convened a new session Wednesday. Lawmakers are staring at huge problems funding the state budget. The state is on track for a two billion dollar shortfall this year, and legislators are trying to figure out how to cut perhaps as much as three billion dollars out of next year's budget that starts July 1st. WWAY News Channel 3 asked two senators and two representatives who serve us in Raleigh how to do it. Representative Carolyn Justice said, "To the people who are right now listening to this who are out of a job, there's nothing funny about this. There's no good side to this for them. But from the General Assembly's perspective, the good side may be that for the first time in a long time, North Carolina is going to face the way it budgets, get serious about what it does and stop funding pet projects for everybody." Carolyn Justice said this session is likely to be more somber and sober than years past. Senator R.C. Soles agrees, saying lawmakers need to send the right message to constituents. That is why he cancelled the reception for colleagues he usually holds at the start of each session. "We have to become more efficient and do all we can to avoid raising taxes. The bottom line is we may ultimately have to raise some fees or taxes, although I hate to even look at that," he said. Representative Danny McComas said he wants to hear any and all ideas about how to fix things. "I do believe, and I do know this will probably be the worst session or the most painful session we're going to be confronted with in our lifetimes." Senator Julia Boseman said ideas include departmental cuts and even raising the cigarette tax. She said whatever happens, our new governor has her hands full. "But I think also it's an opportunity to make her mark in cutting back government, reducing spending and maybe consolidating some departments." The budget shortfalls are due in large part to reduced tax revenue. The state should get some money from the proposed federal economic stimulus package, but it likely won't be enough to offset all the budget needs.

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why not

start with the removal of all illegal immigrants from this state and return them to their native lands? 40% of all convicted felons in Federal Institutions are illegal immigrants. Millions upon millions of dollars are spent annually to provide housing, health care, food, and education for illegal immigrants or their families. How many thousands of jobs are currently occupied by illegal immigrants? They send millions of dollars back to their homeland annually rather than spend it here. Why not get some INS agents, partner them with state and local law enforcement personnel & ENFORCE the currrent immigration laws? Tough Times call for Tough Decisions!