NC Senate budget lean on dollars, hefty on policy changes

RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — The two-year North Carolina government budget proposed by Senate Republicans is one of the longest in recent memory, full of policy changes that contrasts with GOP declarations that the proposal is fiscally lean.

The full Senate Appropriations Committee voted Tuesday for a spending proposal that would spend $21.5 billion next year — less than 2 percent higher than the current year.

But the budget bill text runs more than 500 pages — 175 pages longer than the House budget proposal last month.

Senate Republicans incorporated into their plan a dramatic overhaul of Medicaid, a phase-out of regulating where hospitals can set up shop and increased advertising by the state lottery.

The Senate bill had to go through two committees later Tuesday before it goes to the chamber floor Wednesday.

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