Budget

NC Legislative Building,
Dave DeWitt

A busy week at the General Assembly starts today. Republican Leaders in the House and Senate hope to wrap up the session this week. But first they will have to approve a final budget.

That budget was posted online last night (pdf). It contains some provisions that are close to Senate President pro Tem Phil Berger and House Speaker Thom Tillis, who have been meeting behind closed doors for several weeks to hammer it out.

GOP Leaders Agree On $20.6 Billion State Budget

Jul 22, 2013
North Carolina Legislature passes a tax reform bill.
W Edward Callis III

RALEIGH, N.C. - Leaders in the North Carolina House and Senate announced Sunday that they have reached agreement on a $20.6 billion budget that will end teacher tenure and allow taxpayer money to be spent for private school tuition.

Highlights of the budget negotiated by the Republican majority were issued in a news release. The actual appropriations bill was released to the public late Sunday night.

North Carolina Legislature passes a tax reform bill.
W Edward Callis III

Lawmakers in the state House and Senate are busy negotiating over a budget.

It's July 19th and state legislators know the clock is ticking. They're traditionally expected to come out with a budget for North Carolina by July first, when the new fiscal year starts.

North Carolina Legislature passes a tax reform bill.
W Edward Callis III

This week the General Assembly passed a tax reform bill that sets the stage for the state’s budget. The bill, while sweeping, wasn’t as broad as GOP lawmakers originally wanted. A budget agreement is expected to be reached today with details emerging over the weekend.

Students in a Guilford County classroom.
Guilford County Schools

Lawmakers in Raleigh may end tenure for public school teachers. That’s if a provision in the proposed Senate budget remains in the final budget under negotiation.

Tenure for public school teachers isn’t the same as tenure for college professors. For one, it’s much easier to fire public school teachers with tenure or, as it’s described in the education world, to “counsel them out of teaching.”

NC Legislative building
NC General Assembly

State lawmakers say they're nearing consensus on tax reform. Speaker of the House Thom Tillis says the House and the Senate are close to an agreement.

Potential tax code changes could change the level of funding state budget writers would be able to spend. But there's not much time left before the fiscal year ends for lawmakers to agree on a state budget plan.

Tillis says legislators plan to take that up very soon.

NC General Assembly, Senator Rucho
NC General Assembly

The co-chair of the Senate Finance Committee has resigned from that group to protest changes to his legislative body's tax reform plan.

Senator Bob Rucho submitted his resignation letter to Senate President Phil Berger earlier this week. Rucho was the main architect of a Senate tax reform proposal that would have expanded the sales tax while lowering personal and corporate income tax rates.

But Berger put forth an alternate plan that would repeal corporate taxes without expanding the sales tax base as extensively. Rucho says he was disappointed by the move.

NC House
Jessica Jones

State lawmakers in the House have begun to debate their budget proposal.  Republican representative Nelson Dollar told his fellow lawmakers the budget plan is a good one.

"We are pleased to have a new governor here in Raleigh. We think that the spirit of reform has come to our state capitol. We believe our budget has caught the winds of reform and is moving us forward," said Dollar.

Durham City Hall
City of Durham

County commissioners and city council members across the state turn their attention to their local budgets this week. 

Many local governments are avoiding increases on property taxes as they craft their budgets for the next fiscal year.  But they're also expecting less direct funding from the state and increasing some fees for services like solid waste or animal control. 

The Elizabeth II historical ship is a main attraction at Roanoke Island Festival Park.
NC Department of Cultural Resources

The history-themed Roanoke Island Festival Park on the Outer Banks may have an uncertain future. Two years ago, lawmakers passed a bill that stipulated the park be self-supporting by 2015. The bill called for systematic reductions in state funding to the site over the next 4 years. That gradual implementation was overlooked in the budget proposal Governor Pat McCrory submitted this year - and instead slashed all funding. So far this session, the general assembly shows no signs of reinstating it.

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