Senate to debate budget with teacher raises & film grants - WTOC-TV: Savannah, Beaufort, SC, News, Weather & Sports

Senate to debate budget plan that includes teacher raises and film grants

Pay raises for public school teachers is one of the most-watched items in the $21.2 billion budget deal going in front of the state Senate on Thursday Pay raises for public school teachers is one of the most-watched items in the $21.2 billion budget deal going in front of the state Senate on Thursday
RALEIGH, NC (WECT) -

Senate lawmakers reconvene at 10:15am Thursday morning, and will begin debate on a $21.2 billion compromise budget plan, one day before fellow representatives in the state House begin debate on the same proposal. 

The budget proposal, which posted on the General Assembly website late Wednesday night for public viewing, does include creation of a "Film and Entertainment Grant Fund" to take effect January 1, 2015 when the current film tax credit program expires, and expiring in July 1, 2020.

According to the text of the bill (S744), film productions with expenses of $5 million or more, video or TV series with expenses of at least $250,000 per episode, and commercials with expenses of $250,000 or more would qualify for grants.

The "Film and Entertainment Grant Fund" will also have a 25 percent cap per production. Feature films, television and video series cannot receive a grant of more than $5 million, and commercials can receive a maximum grant of $250,000.

The budget plan also includes a plan to raise pay for teachers in public schools, as outlined earlier this week by GOP leaders in the state House and Senate.

The scale begins with teachers with 0-4 years experience, who will make $33,000 a year, up to teachers with 25 or more years experience who will make $50,000 a year.   

To read the text of the budget plan, click here (public school teacher pay begins on page 50, film grant begins on page 144): http://bit.ly/1uJ4FIo.

To read the Conference Committee Report on the bill including specific dollar amounts, click here: http://bit.ly/XhYWum.

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