Finally, there is indication that House and Senate conferees are beginning to craft a 2015-16 State budget. We know that expenditures and revenues (hopefully) will be about $21.23 billion—two percent more than the current budget. Soon we will know how that money is to be spent.
The final figure is over $400 million less than the schedule approved by House chairs. It is over $200 million above that put together in the Senate. Most of the adjustments will be be in the public education expenditures where the future of teacher assistants is at stake. Also on the firing line is a 2 percent increase for state employees.
A top aide to Speaker Tim Moore confirmed chairmen of various appropriations committees were to start refining new budget numbers today (Wednesday). The figures were to be ready for top chairs in the House and Senate by noon Thursday. Work was to continue over the weekend. The goal is to roll the spending plan out to committees and the chambers next week. A new continuing resolution set a budget deadline for September 15. The Manufacturing Solutions Center and the Textile Technology Center will continue with appropriations received in last year’s budget—about $820,000 each.
DOA: 800 PERCENT TAX INCREASE
Top House Finance Chairs have assured the HTGAC that the proposed privilege tax increase for manufacturing equipment is dead. Currently the tax on equipment is capped at $80. The Senate budget raised the tax to $500 per machine. While the budget is still a work in progress, top representatives and senators have insisted the increase will not be adopted. One top chairman wants to eliminate the tax completely.
A WORD ABOUT HOSEPAC
Over 20 years ago, hosiery leaders established a Political Action Committee (Hosepac). This provides contributions to the campaigns of legislators who have worked actively on behalf of the hosiery and textiles industries. These legislators have sponsored bills, and worked behind the scenes in committees to protect funds for the centers and head off threats in regulatory issues. Hosepac is the vehicle to keep them in the General Assembly.
Contributions must come from personal accounts. In the past, individuals have sent $250, $500 or $1,000 contributions to the PAC. This year it is especially important. Candidates will begin fund-raising events in December. Look for mailings from us.
As the 2015 session seems to be winding down, it is appropriate to recognize support from people who have helped the HTGAC in the Legislature. They include Kevin Howell, legislative liaison for N.C. State University, Dr. John Hardin, president of the N.C. Board of Science and Technology, and Michael Houser, a veteran lobbyist who worked closely on our agenda.
Teamwork bring credibility to our council, our members, our companies, and our research and training centers. Thanks, guys.
A hint: This HTGAC team is working on a special undertaking that could revolutionize research and development and training services for hosiery, fibers, and textiles.