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May 24, 2011 Senate Spells Out Education Budget This week the Senate will unveil its budget proposal in the Appropriations on Education/Higher Education Subcommittee and then in the full Appropriations Committee. A Senate floor vote will be held next week and it is expected to go back to the House by June 1st. Senate Education Budget Highlights By now you no doubt have heard bits and pieces about the Senate’s education budget. I will summarize several major elements below. • • • • • • • • • • Adds teachers (approx. 1,100) to reduce class size by 3 students in K-3. The plan will be phased in over the next 2-3 years and will reduce average class size to 15 students. Institutes a performance bases evaluation plan with pay increases based on performance rather than longevity. (Begins in the second year of the budget.) Takes steps to ensure all children learn to read by the end of 3rd grade. Reduces/eliminates needless regulations and paperwork. Adds 5 student learning days to the school calendar. Gives greater flexibility to make budget cuts to Community Colleges and Universities. Funds K-12 education more than the House budget. Will not cut classroom teachers. Reduces the number of CEUs (continuing education units) for teachers, to bring them more in line with requirements for doctors, lawyers, accountants, etc. Reforms education in grades K-12.

Worth Noting • • • • The Senate budget funds K-12 education at approximately $4,800 per student. The Governor’s recommended budget would fund at approximately $5,000 per student. The Senate budget targets its resources to the classroom. It eliminates funding of many administrative and ancillary programs which do not directly affect the classroom. We plan to pass the budget from the Senate by June 1st. Teacher assistants in grades 1-3 are reduced/eliminated.

Draconian You’ve heard comments from the Governor and others using the word draconian to describe cuts to education in the budget. Don’t believe everything you hear… If draconian means cutting the Senate budget by less than 3% of what the Governor proposed in her K-12 budget, then I guess you can call it draconian. If you mean spending only $200 less per pupil in the Senate budget compared to the Governor’s, then I suppose you can call that draconian. Most clear thinking people will call it reasonable. i.e. living within your means… Senate Jobs Plan The Senate will unveil its job creation plan this week in the Senate Finance Committee. I believe you will find it a good first step in creating jobs while also creating tax breaks for individuals and businesses. The Senate jobs plan: • • • Puts $3.3 Billion in revenue in the pockets of working families and small businesses to stimulate the economy and create jobs. Creates 15,000 private sector jobs in the short term and 50,000 to 60,000 new jobs in the long term. Reduces the personal income tax rate by ¼ of a percent, and adds a $50,000 small business tax exemption on non-passive income up to a limit of $825,000 of gross income. Includes the expiration of the temporary sales tax and income surtax.

Meaningful Annexation Reform The N.C. House passed HB 845 last week. The “Annexation Reform Act of 2011” passed its second reading by a vote of 102 to 13 and third reading by a vote of 106 to 10. Key

components of HB 845 include: • • • Provides property owners a true voice as to whether they wish to be annexed. Provides a fair process for providing water and sewer. Provides increased penalties for municipalities that do not provide required services.

It is my hope that the Senate will hear HB 845 and pass it, or something like it. With the strong House vote this one looks veto proof to me. What do you think??? Citizens and many in the legislature have been working for years to find a practical and workable solution to our annexation issues. HB 845 looks like a good start to me. We will see… Obama Middle East Peace Initiative Last week President Obama announced a new initiative to jump start the Arab-Israeli peace talks. Maybe some people agree with his plan. I have yet to meet one of them… Obama’s idea to move Israel’s borders back to pre 1967 boundaries was an affront to the only true democracy and our only real ally in the region. The whole world knows this. Whose side pray tell, are you on Mr. President? I’m still astounded that an American President would seriously proffer such a suggestion. Tell us Mr. President that you misspoke. I can’t believe your advisors suggested this approach, if they did, fire them. If it was your idea, then 2012 will give the American people their chance to be heard… I’ll tell you who loved the President’s speech; the Palestinians, Hamas, and the other unstable Arab leaders, that’s who. That tells me more than I need to know. What about you??? Never in my seven decades have I witnessed a major ally of the U.S. rebuke a sitting U.S. President in public the way Prime Minister Netanyahu did President Obama. Have you? We have not heard the last of this one. You can take that to the bank… Civitas Poll May 10-11 You will find the following poll results interesting: “Would you be more or less likely to vote for a legislator in 2012 who voted to raise taxes by over $800 million?”
Total More Likely – 15% Total Less Likely – 73%

Much More Likely – 5% Somewhat More Likely – 10%

Somewhat Less Likely – 17% Much Less Likely – 55% No Difference – 4% Don’t Know/Refused – 8% “Would you support or oppose a plan by Governor Perdue to raise taxes by over $800 million?”
Total Support – 17% Total Oppose – 75%

Strongly Support – 6% Somewhat Support – 11% Somewhat Oppose – 12% Strongly Oppose – 63% Don’t Know/No Opinion/Refused – 8% Civitas Poll: Grim Recession Outlook Among N.C. Voters North Carolina voters remain negative on economic recovery as 60 percent believe it will take over 2 years for the recession to end, according to a new poll released today by the Civitas Institute. Sixty percent of voters said they think it will take over 2 years for the economy to improve and the recession to end. Twenty-two percent said it will take between 1 and 2 years, while just 3 percent said the recession has ended. These numbers are worse than a January 2011 Civitas poll. When asked, 18 percent thought the recession had ended. Of the 81 percent who thought the recession was ongoing, 61 percent thought it would take over 2 years for the recession to end and 9 percent said recovery would happen in 6 months to 1 year. “Voters continue to hold a very negative outlook on the economy recovering quickly,” said Civitas Institute President Francis De Luca. “A stale economy, state budget headlines, and ongoing high unemployment have created a dismal outlook for most North Carolinians and most appear resigned to a long, sluggish recovery.”

Full text of question: “Talking about the economy, in your opinion, how much longer do you think it will take for the economy to improve and the current recession to end? If you think the current recession has ended just say so.” Under 6 months – 1% Between 6 months and a year – 7% Between 1-2 years – 22% Over 2 years – 60% Recession has ended – 3% Don’t Know – 7% Quote “Worry does not empty tomorrow of its sorrow, it empties today of its strength.” Corrie Ten Boom Senator Jerry Tillman can be reached on Facebook Are you on Facebook? You can reach Senator Jerry Tillman by clicking this link. Once you get to Jerry’s page, just hit the like button at the top of the page and you’ll start getting updates during the week. If you don't have a Facebook account, you can sign up for an account so you can start getting Jerry's updates. Then tell your friends and neighbors who might want to know what Jerry is doing in Raleigh for the folks in Randolph and Montgomery counties. Again, just click: To connect today.

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SENATOR JERRY TILLMAN SENATE MAJORITY WHIP 628 Legislative Office Building Raleigh, NC 27601-2808 Phone: 919.733.5870 Fax: 919.754.3339 To unsubscribe, please reply to this e-mail with “unsubscribe” in the subject line.