Will a budget shortfall mean no teacher pay raise? - WBTV 3 News, Weather, Sports, and Traffic for Charlotte, NC

Will a budget shortfall mean no teacher pay raise?

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CHARLOTTE, NC (WBTV) -

State leaders are anticipating a budget shortfall this year.  

Some predict it could be as much as $445 million.  

Democrats are quickly blaming the Republicans for the shortfall.  

Senate Minority Whip Josh Stein believes the tax overhaul approved last year is the reason for the shortfall.

"Democrats knew it would allow the very wealthy to keep more money instead of providing revenues for things like teacher raises."  Stein said.

Representative Craig Horn told WBTV Stein's comment was irresponsible.  

Horn believes a lousy March was one of the reasons for the gap.  

He says the weather prevented many to shop causing a dip in the state's sales tax revenue.  

Horn also told WBTV this shortfall does not mean teacher raises will not happen.

Governor McCrory's office issued this statement: "It is disappointing that state revenue is coming in under budget, but the state prudently prepared for such a possibility."

The Governor's office reports the state has about $599 million in savings to help fill the gap.

It also adds "the state's overall cash balance and expenditures are fine for the rest of the year, and no additional measures will need to be taken."

No word yet on how this will play out as lawmakers will soon begin this short session to decide on the $20.6 billion budget.

"The governor is still reviewing several budget proposals that include raises for all teachers and state employees." Office of State Budget and Management.

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