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

North Carolina’s cuts to higher education are shortchanging future generations

North Carolina’s inadequate public investment in higher education ...

Top Stories from NCPW

  • News
  • Commentary

Chief US District Judge Terrence Boyle, a New Jersey-born jurist known for his bristly disposition a [...]

More than two dozen people crowded into a conference room at the North Carolina Judicial Center Wedn [...]

If North Carolina goes forward with the recommendation to allow a private charter operator to take c [...]

Early voting starts today, which means North Carolinians will finally get to decide on six proposed [...]

There are a lot of strange – even downright bizarre – aspects to the ongoing effort by North Carolin [...]

The power of the vote extends beyond any single electoral outcome. It has the potential to lift up i [...]

The post Nix all Six appeared first on NC Policy Watch. [...]

When lawmakers convene next week for a second special session of the North Carolina General Assembly [...]