A common question on the budget has been where the Senate got the $252 million to pay for new spending without raising the sales tax. The following table explains it in gory details. The budget sets aside less for future downturns, diverts money from other funds at the same rate as the House budget did, cuts taxes less and keeps more carve-outs, diverts less from Golden LEAF, diverts more from school construction, and leaves less unspent for next year. The budget deal also puts $50 million less aside for state employee pensions by extending the payback period another three years. On the bright side, it would sell more state-owned assets.
UPDATE: The budget passed second reading in the Senate 31-18. Third reading tomorrow, then to the House before Gov. Perdue’s veto.