BUDGET PROCESS BEGINS

Paul Fogleman,

This year the first draft of a $23 billion state budget is crafted by Senate Appropriations Committtees. But the long road to July 1 deadline has begun with House and Senate budget writers sitting side –by-side in the initial staff presentations. Gov. Roy Cooper and the Legislative leaders have called to significant raises for public school teachers—Cooper calling a $55,000 target for the average salary and 5 percent overall increase and Senate chairs with similar proposals.

Rep. Jason Saine, the senior House Finance Chairman, will push hard to eliminate the franchise tax on manufacturing equipment, his aides say. The lawmaker who pushed to retain the assessment on the machine tax did not seek re-election last year.

The final budget will be scrutinized and approved by the inner circles of Senate President Pro Tem Phil Berger and House Speaker Tim Moore, and presented for approval around July 1.

MAKE ROOM RESERVATIONS NOW

The Holiday Inn in Raleigh is holding the bloc of rooms for our Legislative Day event until Friday, March 3. To get the group rate of $104 for the night of March 14 you should call before then. You can cancel up until March 13. If you need more information, call Paul Fogleman at 828-322-7766 or email pfogleman@informinc.net.

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