RALEIGH, N.C. — The Latest on the North Carolina Senate debating its two-year state government budget proposal (all times local):
The next stop for the North Carolina government spending proposal for the next two years authored by Senate Republicans is the chamber floor.
The budget bill cleared several Senate committees Wednesday, less than a day after the legislation covering several hundred pages was made public. The full Senate is expected to debate and hold the first of two recorded votes Thursday.
The top GOP budget writers pitched the spending plan using familiar themes. They say the measure controls spending, cuts taxes to help the middle class and job creators and puts more money in reserve to prepare for the next downturn.
With only a couple of exceptions, Republicans largely ignored high-profile initiatives that new Democratic Gov. Roy Cooper recommended in his budget and has been promoting around the state.
Senate Republicans are keeping to a pattern of pushing state budgets that keep a check on spending while cutting taxes and setting aside lots of money for the next rainy day.
GOP leaders in the chamber planned to run its two-year budget plan through several committees Wednesday before floor votes by the end of the week.
The measure aims to spend $22.9 billion in the first year — a 2.5 percent increase over the current year’s budget law. That uptick is half the rate that Democratic Gov. Roy Cooper recommended in his budget plan.
The Republican budget also cuts income tax rates and raises the state’s reserves to over $1.8 billion. The Senate also offers raises for teachers and state employees, although they’re not as generous as Cooper proposed.