The NC House voted to approve a $22.1 billion budget in the early hours of Friday morning, sending the spending plan off to the Senate where it will most certainly face more changes.
One of the dozens of amendments debated prior to the passage of the spending plan would have eliminated an extension of renewable energy tax credits.
Wake County Rep. Marilyn Avila said she would not support a tax credit for the solar industry, while so many areas of the budget went underfunded:
“We lacked adequate child care for at-risk kids, we lacked money to address the needs of traumatic brain injury patients, we lacked money to provide services to the mentally ill who have been sent back to their communities for treatment that isn’t there.”
Cabarrus County Rep. Larry Pittman chimed in that he had “great concerns” about subsidizing solar farms that are displacing traditional farmland.
But Rep. David Lewis of Harnett County urged his colleagues to support the latest compromise on solar tax credits – a one-year extension, with a scaled-back credit for the second year of the budget.
“Never again will I stand on this floor and ask the members to extend the credit,” pledged Rep. Lewis.
In the end House members voted (38-77) to defeat Avila’s amendment.
For more on the highs and lows of the House budget, read Friday’s Fitzsimon File: The Follies (of celebrating a budget that doesn’t make things worse).