McInnis backs proposed Senate budget

Sen. Tom McInnis

Sen. Tom McInnis

* News & Observer budget coverage

RALEIGH — Republican Sen. Tom McInnis supports the budget proposal released this week by the North Carolina Senate.

  • With a prudent overall increase of about two percent, the $21.47 billion plan keeps state government spending in line with population growth and inflation and comes within less than a quarter percent of the governor’s proposal.
  • The proposal uses the additional dollars to help shore up rainy day and repair and renovation funds by $800 million and deliver broad tax relief to the North Carolina families and businesses that helped grow the state’s economy. It reduces the personal income tax by more than $3 billion over the next five years alone.
  • It also makes good on repeated promises from state leaders of both parties to end the transfer of hundreds of millions of dollars from the Highway Fund to the General Fund and ensure that money is finally spent on building and maintaining safe roads and bridges.
  • And it increases funding for classroom teacher positions by more than $270 million over the biennium to reduce class sizes in Kindergarten to a 1:17and in grades 1-3 to a 1:15 teacher-student ratio – a level research has repeatedly shown is key to academic success in early grades.
  • The structurally sound and sustainable budget setts priorities, lives within our means and taking steps to let North Carolinians keep more of their own money.

“I support the Senate budget because it offers rural counties additional revenue by changing the sales tax distribution and additional pay for our teachers, prison guards and highway patrol officers,” McInnis said in an email to  news outlets Tuesday afternoon. “I hope that as this process moves forward teacher assistants’ positions in our district will be preserved. However, this budget strengthens our economic development for all counties in our state. It offers a fix for Medicaid. Finally, it offers a balanced budget that keeps our spending on priority areas across all areas of state government.”

According to the News & Observer, the proposed House budget is $22.2 billion “would increase spending by about 5 percent. It also featured industry-specific tax credits and state employee raises that the Senate isn’t including in its plan, which will be the subject of discussion and expected votes this week.”

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