UNC system cuts total $50 million under N.C. Senate budget proposal

The N.C. Senate released its 2013-14 state budget proposal Sunday night, as state legislators work toward fulfilling campaign promises of reforming taxes and public education and balancing the budget.

The $20.6 billion in recommended spending is virtually identical to the spending proposed by Gov. Pat McCrory in his budget plan, released in March.

The Senate’s budget calls for government spending in 2013-14 to increase by 2.3 percent overall, which is designed to provide for an overhaul of the state tax system and unexpected costs in Medicaid.

The proposal recommends that the UNC system receive about $2.61 billion in fiscal year 2013-2014, a $50 million cut from the 2012-13 budget, which stands at $2.66 billion.

But the Senate’s recommendation puts less financial stress on higher education than McCrory’s budget proposal, which allocated $2.52 billion for the system next year, a $139 million cut.

Senate President Pro Tempore Phil Berger’s office released a statement saying that the new budget “fully funds enrollment growth in…the university system” and incorporates all of the recommendations included in the UNC system’s five-year strategic plan, although the UNC Board of Governors has voiced concern about the effect significant cuts will have on the plan’s implementation.

The proposal will go to the Senate floor for a vote this week. After a final Senate budget is approved, it will be sent to the state House of Representatives.

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