by Sarah Curry
Director of Fiscal Policy Studies
North Carolina operates on a biennial budget, meaning a two-year budget is passed every odd-numbered year. Only 21 states operate with a biennial budget cycle. Since North Carolina meet every year, the legislature allows budget adjustments during the non-budget year, even-numbered years.
According to the National Association of State Budget Officers:
As of July 1, all but two states have enacted budgets for fiscal 2015, which began on July 1 for 46 states. In Massachusetts the legislature approved a budget on June 30 and the governor has ten days to review the bill; the legislature also approved a temporary funding bill while the governor reviews the budget. Pennsylvania’s legislature also finalized a budget on June 30; the governor has expressed concern that the budget did not contain pension reform and is withholding his signature while he deliberates the budget’s impact. In addition, in North Carolina the legislature continues to consider budget adjustments to the previously enacted fiscal 2014-2015 biennium budget.
North Carolina was one of the last states to finalize a state budget last year, and this year is also one of the last to come to a budget compromise on the adjustments for the second year of the biennium. Maybe its time to speed up the process?