State Senate leaders held a news conference Monday to discuss details of their $21.47 billion budget proposal. The proposal is smaller than the state House’s budget plan released almost a month ago, and would create a separate state agency to administer North Carolina’s Medicaid program.
WUNC Capitol Reporter Jorge Valencia said the Senate has only given a general idea of its budget proposal, and includes increasing the starting salary pay for teachers to $35,000 a year, a $2,000 increase.
"Even though we are at the proposal stage, this figure is likely to stay in the Governor's budget and in the House of Representatives budget," Valencia said.
Valencia said the Senate also wants to create a new, separate entity to oversee the state's 1.8 billion Medicaid recipients. The new organizations would be the Health Benefits Authority and would create "manage care entities" that are essentially insurance companies managing Medicaid's costs.
More details about the Senate's two-year spending plan are expected Tuesday.