Senate President Phil Berger and House Speaker Tim Moore have agreed to a $21.735 billion budget for the current fiscal year.
Governor Pat McCrory announced lawmakers settled on the amount this morning during a meeting at the Executive Mansion:
“This agreement is the result of ongoing dialogue during the last several weeks. We remain committed to working with the House and Senate to find common sense solutions that create jobs, strengthen education and fund critical infrastructure in North Carolina,” said Governor McCrory in a statement to the press.
With a gentlemen’s agreement on the spending limit set, house and Senate budget conferees must now decide on the finer points – how much to allocate for K-12, health care, public safety, as well as teacher and state employee raises.
Both chambers and the Governor have been feeling the heat to finalize a state budget, now 49 days overdue with a continuing resolution keeping state government operating through August 31st.
Once a deal is in place, the question remains whether legislators will have the desire to stay in Raleigh and continue working on other controversial issues like the Taxpayer Protection Action.
Amber Moodie-Dyer with the NC Budget & Tax Center spoke over the weekend with NC Policy Watch about the disastrous impact a constitutional amendment like SB 607 (TABOR) would have on North Carolina, giving lawmakers limited flexibility in future investments and for future state budgets.
Click below to hear an excerpt from that radio interview where Moodie-Dyer discusses how TABOR adversely affected Colorado, the only state to ever take this approach to capping state spending. (A podcast of the full radio interview is available here on the main Policy Watch website.)