Republicans on budget disagreements: ‘We still have strong opinions’
WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) — Republican leaders are not taking this Labor Day off, because of an unfinished budget.
It has been more than two months since the deadline passed and the North Carolina General Assembly is still without a budget.
“Here we are in one of the longest sessions in recent history,” Senator Jane Smith said.
Democratic Senator Jane Smith said this time, it is not her party’s fault.
“They have a super majority in control of both houses and the governor,” Smith said. “You’d think they could agree.”
Republican Representative Frank Iler said he admits they are having a hard time agreeing.
“We still have strong opinions between the urban folks, the rural folks, and as well as the coastal, mountains, and the Piedmont folks,” Iler said. “We sent a budget over to the Senate with about 200, 250 pages of provisions and it came back with 500.”
Iler said the conflicts are mostly about number one money for teaching assistants.
“Whether it will be flexible money, or designated just for teaching assistants,” Iler said. “That is still an issue.”
Number two is sales tax redistribution.
“That was going to hurt Brunswick County and New Hanover and others that produce a lot of sales tax, because of our tourism,” Iler said.
While Smith is in favor of the tax redistribution, she agreed with Iler that this budget will help teachers.
“It’s still not enough, but I am at least encouraged that there is some increase in pay and they are keeping the driver’s ed and the teaching assistants in particular,” Smith said.
Iler said he is encouraged that the general assembly will have a budget this week. After two temporary spending measures, the legislature has until September 18 to pass a budget.