Quantcast

RALEIGH: Lottery funding a major sticking point in budget battle - Greenville, NC | News | Weather | Sports - WNCT.com

Lottery funding a major sticking point in budget battle

Posted: Updated:
The Senate Appropriations Committee meets to discuss the House's proposed budget. The Senate Appropriations Committee meets to discuss the House's proposed budget.
RALEIGH, N.C. -

As lawmakers continue to debate the intricacies of the chambers' proposed budgets, one of the major sticking points is the House's proposal to use money from the lottery to help pay for teacher raises.

The Senate is proposing about an 11 percent increase for teachers in exchange for them relinquishing their tenure or "career status." The Senate's proposal also eliminates half of the state's teaching assistant jobs.

On the other hand, the House is proposing about a 5 percent increase partially funded by increased investment in and ultimately sales from the lottery. The House proposal allows the state to double the money it spends on advertising from $17 million to $34 million a year

Tuesday, North Carolina Education Lottery Executive Director Alice Garland told the Senate Appropriations Committee that while the House proposal would allow the lottery to double its advertising budget, it would also put in new restrictions that would severely hurt the lottery.

Garland said the proposal restricts advertising during college sports games and also requires the lottery to disclose the smaller lump sum payments in its advertisements.

"All of a sudden, here's a billboard with a second box and a second number and what does that mean? And what's that telling me? Has North Carolina changed the games somehow? I think I'll just go to South Carolina or Virginia," Garland said of the potentially confusing ads.

Critics say the House betting on the lottery may not be the best idea.

"They're hoping because of the increase in advertising that the lottery is going to raise that money. But it's not assured," said Rep. Mickey Michaux (D-Durham).

The House has said all along, though, that it received assurances from lottery officials that it would be able to fund the extra $106 million for teachers

"The House feels very good about our budget," said Rep. Nelson Dollar (R-Wake), the senior chairman of the House Appropriations committee. "We're very pleased with it where we go with raises for state employees, raises for teachers."

Even if the House and Senate come to an agreement, Gov. Pat McCrory said he'll be watching aspects of the budget because there are "issues" with which he said he disagrees.

"I will be very outspoken about areas where we disagree," McCrory said. "For example, cutting teacher assistants is something that I will not accept."

Later this week, the House and Senate will go to a conference committee to try and finalize a budget. The finalized budget would then go to McCrory.

If the budget process goes beyond June 30, there is still a budget in place from last year so the state will not be without a budget.

RELATED STORIES

Copyright 2014 WNCN. All rights reserved.

Beau Minnick

Beau covers the North Carolina legislature, delivering valuable insights into state politics. More>>

  • PoliticsMore>>

  • Week of protests to wrap up at NC Capitol

    Week of protests to wrap up at NC Capitol

    Thursday, August 28 2014 7:13 PM EDT2014-08-28 23:13:38 GMT
    A coalition led by North Carolina's NAACP is wrapping up a week of demonstrations at the state capitol with a rally for voting rights.
    A coalition led by North Carolina's NAACP is wrapping up a week of demonstrations at the state capitol with a rally for voting rights.
  • Tillis to highlight NC teacher raises in TV ad

    Tillis to highlight NC teacher raises in TV ad

    Thursday, August 28 2014 7:11 PM EDT2014-08-28 23:11:43 GMT
    House Speaker Thom Tillis will highlight teacher pay raises approved by the North Carolina legislature this year in a television ad to first air on the eve of his first U.S. Senate debate with Democratic incumbent Kay Hagan.
    House Speaker Thom Tillis will highlight teacher pay raises approved by the North Carolina legislature this year in a television ad to first air on the eve of his first U.S. Senate debate with Democratic incumbent Kay Hagan.
  • Radio ads praise NC lawmakers for fracking votes

    Radio ads praise NC lawmakers for fracking votes

    Wednesday, August 27 2014 9:44 PM EDT2014-08-28 01:44:36 GMT
    The energy industry is thanking several North Carolina lawmakers who supported fracking legislation with radio ads in their districts as elections approach.
    The energy industry is thanking several North Carolina lawmakers who supported fracking legislation with radio ads in their districts as elections approach.
Powered by WorldNow

3221 South Evans Street
Greenville N.C. 27834

Telephone: 252.355.8500
Fax: 252.355.8568
Email: newsdesk@wnct.com

Can't find something?
Powered by WorldNow
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 Media General Communications Holdings, LLC. A Media General Company.