We're continuing to follow plans state lawmakers have for that extra two billion dollar budget surplus. Lawmakers just returned to Raleigh Tuesday, but have plenty of ideas on how to spend the money. And here's what some of the lawmakers had to say when we talked with them Wednesday.
District 6 Representative Arthur Williams, a Democrat who represents Beaufort and Pitt Counties said, "One of the main things is raising teachers salaries and state employees salaries as well, but I don't know what percentage yet. We need incentives for small businesses for health insurance. We just need to see how far the money is going to go. It’s just too early to tell."
Representative Jean Preston, a Republican from Carteret and Jones Counties said, "There are a lot of gaps and holes to fill. We should at least use some of it to replenish the Highway Trust Fund, we've been dipping into for years. Then we should sunset the half cent sales tax and private income tax. The half cent sales tax was supposed to end in 2001, but we've extended it several times. We need to fulfill our obligation to our taxpayers."
And Senator Pete Bland, a Democrat who represents Carteret, Craven and Pamlico Counties said we need to, "Replenish the rainy day fund, but first and foremost if we could raise state employee's pay, if we could do five percent, I'm going to push for that. We also need to reach the national average for teacher pay. We also need to get the Highway Trust Fund back to what it was as well."
A lot of ideas we'll continue to follow to see where all that money goes.