NC Republicans hold the cards for Senate budget - WSLS 10 NBC in Roanoke/Lynchburg Va

NC Republicans hold the cards for Senate budget

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RALEIGH, N.C. -

A hefty North Carolina state budget proposal written by Senate Republicans is likely to pass by a comfortable margin in a chamber where GOP members outnumber Democrats by nearly 2 to 1.

The Senate scheduled for Wednesday the first of 2 required floor votes on the plan directing state government spending through mid-2015. The nearly $21 billion for next year seeks to keep up with growth in the Medicaid entitlement program, creates a new rural economic development division and raises fees on commercial fishermen and electric and hybrid vehicle owners.

Democrats criticized the 413-page proposal Tuesday in committee for eliminating $142 million for teacher assistants for second and third grades and failing to restore more public school funds for local school districts.

The House will later offer its own budget.

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