Under the Dome

Berger criticizes Senate budget debate

The state Senate finally got around to debating its $21.4 billion budget proposal — after it had passed the chamber by a 31-14 vote.

Senate Minority Leader Phil Berger used a Senate rule, allowing him to explain his vote, to blast the budget proposal and criticize Senate Democrats for shutting off debate, Dan Kane reports.

"To cut off debate on the most important piece of legislation that this body enacts, it seems to me is a miscarriage of everything that democracy stands for," said Berger, a Rockingham County Republican.

On Wednesday, during the first of two required votes on the budget, Senate Majority Leader Tony Rand called for closing off discussion after a handful of amendments had been considered. Democrats supported his motion, preventing Republicans from speaking on the budget bill.

Rand didn't discuss his parliamentary move on Thursday, but he responded to Berger's budget criticisms.

Rand said the budgets lawmakers passed in previous years have helped create a small surplus this year, while other states are struggling with deep deficits. He also said investments in education have helped North Carolina transition from an economy based on tobacco and manufacturing to one burgeoning with high technology and banking jobs.

"So when you think about North Carolina, think about number one place to live, number one place to do business," said Rand, a Fayetteville Democrat. "The place is growing like a weed."


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Re: Berger criticizes Senate budget debate

My opponent in the upcoming general election is a member of the democratic state house caucus. His name is Dan Blue and he is responsible for a lot of this Un-democratic activity. If he was a leader he would step up and ask for open debate. He has not. He is part of the problem.

Paul Terrell III
Candidate for NC House district 33
Terrell III for State House
4549 Tollington Dr
Raleigh, NC 27604

Re: Berger criticizes Senate budget debate

If leaders (such as Rand?) aren't following established procedure and/or allowing for objective (or bipartisan) debate on important legislation before it is formally proposed why wouldn't these "proposals" be invalidated or appealed?

For instance, the (legal) fiasco(s) associated with the lottery has lead large numbers of North Carolinians to doubt the integrity of the General Assembly... are recent events a sign that little has changed in Raleigh?

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