NC Senate approves its version of state budget

RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) – The North Carolina Senate approved its version of the state budget Thursday following hours of intense debate.

The spending package now goes to a conference committee where both members of the House and Senate will combine to versions of the budget into one.

A major difference between the two versions is the House’s version spends $700 million more than the Senate’s.

The Senate is cutting funding for teaching assistants and offering no raises to teachers with 25 years or more of experience.

The Senate also is not going to fund driver’s education programs because it said the program isn’t effective enough.

Once the conference committee forms a single version, it will be presented to Gov. Pat McCrory for his signature.

McCrory has said there are several items in budget he wants both sides to fix to his liking.

“There’s some education policy I definitely want to come out. An economic development bill which we need now not later that I’ve been waiting for since January,” McCrory said. “We need Medicaid reform which is very important.”

It could be several weeks before House and Senate conference committee members come up with a bill that can be signed by the governor.

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