• McCrory speaks on state budget, first four months in office

    By: Blair Miller

    Updated:

    CHARLOTTE, N.C. -  The Republican majority in North Carolina's Senate helped push the state budget proposal through its first floor vote Wednesday.

    The nearly $21 billion plan includes funding for Medicaid and tax reductions.

    Democrats have criticized the proposal for eliminating $142 million from public education.

    Gov. Pat McCrory agrees with the plan's major goals, but he said there were areas that needed review.

    McCrory's visit to Charlotte on Wednesday came as a new poll puts his approval rating at 48 percent.

    "I'm frankly pleased it's that high especially in comparison to other politicians," he said.

    The governor said in his first four months he's focused on reforming key state agencies.

    In previous interviews with McCrory, he's blamed the Perdue administration.

    "I spend very little time talking about what I've inherited. We're spending time about basic operations and recommending policy changes to do just that," McCrory said.

    McCrory's budget has been criticized even by some fellow Republicans.

    "I think we're all within the same framework. But we're now going to have to work out some details of where we differ," McCrory said.

    One of them includes a pay increase for state employees. The governor is pushing it but Senators said the money isn't there.

    "What I'm trying to do is find new money in the long term and rebuild our economy," he said.

    Follow Blair on Twitter: @BlairMiller9.


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