NC Budget and Tax Center, Read the Fine Print: Special Provisions

Special Provisions: The Fine Print

Yesterday, the Senate passed a state budget that deserves careful examination, not only to the funding changes but the policy changes that are quietly tucked in as well. What we generally call “the budget” always contains two documents—1) the money report and 2) the special provisions.

The money report is what you would consider to be the budget—the listing of funding levels for various programs and services by line item. The special provisions are the accompanying document that theoretically clarifies the money decisions. It offers policy guidance to administrative agencies that are charged with implementing the funding changes, and it offers guidance to how federal dollars should be spent.

While the special provisions are technically supposed to be just about the numbers in the state budget, more often than not a bunch of policy that should go through the regular bill process pops up in the special provisions. It’s not unheard of for massive programmatic changes to happen in the special provisions. Unless you’re a full-time lobbyist over at the legislature, it’s hard to find out what they contain.

Here are some of the special provisions that merit further attention and debate:

  • Changes to Funding Education Formulas
  • Changes to the Education Lottery Fund allocation
  • Allows for increased class sizes
  • Adopts provisions of the Excellent Public Schools Act of 2013
  • Establishes an expanded contract with Teach for America
  • Requires drug testing for Work First assistance
  • Increases agency discretion to raise fees
  • Develops a system to track state spending and performance known as NC GEAR
  • Shifts pregnant women who earn at least 133 percent of the federal poverty level from Medicaid to the private health insurance marketplace being set up under the Affordable Care Act.
  • Creation of the Rural Economic Development Division

Check Also

Senate tax plan would eliminate health insurance coverage for millions to pay for tax cuts for richest Americans

The Senate tax bill released last week follows ...

Top Stories from NCPW

  • News
  • Commentary

The controversy over “Silent Sam,” the Confederate monument on UNC’s Chapel Hill campus, has been ra [...]

North Carolina tries to mine its swine and deal with a poop problem that keeps piling up A blanket o [...]

This story is part of "Peak Pig," an examination of the hog industry co-published with Env [...]

Few issues in the North Carolina’s contentious policy wars have been more consistently front and cen [...]

Five years ago, the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) filed a jaw-dropping civil rights lawsuit again [...]

Will Burr and Tillis really vote for this? For much of the 20th Century, one of the labels that Amer [...]

President Trump and Congressional Republicans aim to rebrand enormous tax cuts for the wealthiest ho [...]

20—number of years since a bipartisan coalition in Congress passed the Children’s Health Insurance P [...]

Spotlight on Journalism

We invite you to join a special celebration of investigative journalism! The evening will feature Mike Rezendes, a member of the Pulitzer Prize-winning Boston Globe Spotlight Team known for their coverage of the cover-up of sexual abuse in the Catholic Church.

Tickets available NOW!

Spotlight On Journalism

This event will benefit NC Policy Watch, a project of the North Carolina Justice Center. Sponsorship opportunities available now!

Featured | Special Projects

NC Budget 2017
The maze of the NC Budget is complex. Follow the stories to follow the money.
Read more


NC Redistricting 2017
New map, new districts, new lawmakers. Here’s what you need to know about gerrymandering in NC.
Read more