Senate Passes Balanced Budget Act of 2011

Raleigh – The North Carolina Senate today tentatively approved $800 million in savings that will help close a projected $3.7 billion budget gap and help the private-sector create jobs.

Senators approved the Balanced Budget Act of 2011 (SB 13), which would give the governor the authority to cut spending for the current fiscal year and calls for immediate cost-savings to help tackle next year’s budget.

The governor’s office agreed to cut $400 million to help fill the gap between current spending and revenue. Senate Republicans added an extra $400 million in savings to the bill Wednesday that will help eliminate the deficit while minimizing negative impacts on school teachers and state workers.

“Our job is to make tough choices to balance the budget. The people expect Democratic legislators and the governor to do more than sit back and say ‘no.’ We are still waiting for them to bring us their ideas,” said Senate President Pro Tempore Phil Berger (R-Rockingham). “We are forced to make these decisions because they have not put forth adequate cost-saving measures after spending us into a budget deficit of several billion dollars. These sacrifices are necessary to close that deficit. We are doing this to minimize harm to classroom teachers and rank-and-file state employees and to foster an environment that gives the private sector the means to create jobs. Letting the current taxes expire, as Democrats said they would, will be a far more effective incentive for businesses than unspent money from government grants and programs.”

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