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Republican senatorial candidate Thom Tillis responds during a televised debate April 23 at WRAL television studios in Raleigh, N.C. / Gerry Broome, AP

AD SPONSOR: Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee

THE RACE: U.S. Senate

STATE: North Carolina

ANALYSIS:

This ad accuses Republican Senate candidate Thom Tillis, the state House speaker, of cutting funding for education by $500 million while giving tax breaks to yacht and jet owners. The charge echoes a recent ad from EMILY's List and a new ad from the Democratic group Senate Majority PAC.

Tillis is challenging incumbent Democratic Sen. Kay Hagan and it is a tight race: A USA TODAY/Suffolk Poll released Wednesday shows them in a statistical tie.

Education funding, especially teacher pay, has been a hot issue in North Carolina for several years. Since Tillis is speaker of the state's House of Representatives, it's fair to assign him some responsibility for it.

In 2013, the Legislature passed a two-year education budget that increased the amount spent on education but fell short, by about $480 million, of the $23.6 billion the state budget office estimated was needed to maintain the same level of service. To Democrats, that's effectively a half-billion dollar cut to education.

This month, the Legislature adjusted the second year of the two-year budget to include a $282 million teacher pay raise. The ads don't reflect that.

The ad is correct that a 2013 tax measure Tillis supported - which cut income and corporate taxes - preserved a $1,500 cap on sales tax for boats and airplanes while eliminating other tax loopholes.

By Martha T. Moore, USA TODAY



Copyright 2014USAToday

Read the original story: Ad watch: Democrats fault Tillis for education funding

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