It's no surprise that the Senate and the House have different ideas for the budget.
Senate Democrats want to tax less and borrow more than the House in a 20 billion dollar spending plan for next year. The budget was unveiled yesterday, and it also uses some of North Carolina's national tobacco settlement to create a dedicated cancer research fund.
The Senate plan lets expire two "temporary" taxes first agreed to in 2001, but extended twice since. A portion was removed last year.
The House's two-year budget approved earlier this month keeps a quarter-penny on the sales tax and a higher income tax bracket for the state's top wage-earners for another two years.
Those moves add about 300 million dollars to the government coffers next year to pay for education and health care needs. Governor Easley's budget proposal also retained the taxes.