by Sarah Curry
Director of Fiscal Policy Studies
North Carolina lawmakers still cannot agree to a final budget. The Senate saw difficulty in compromise, so they decided to move their economic development and Medicaid reform plans out of the budget and into stand-alone bills. Unfortunately, even with this change, the two chambers were unable to come to an agreement before the August 14th deadline of the continuing resolution.
Knowing that negotiations would not be finished nor a final budget passed by the deadline, another extension of state funding was needed to avoid a state government shutdown. The House was first to approve the extension of funding with little discussion. The Senate on the other hand had much discussion, primarily about the tardiness of the state’s budget, including blaming the House’s lack of urgency in finalizing a state-spending plan.
North Carolina is not alone when it comes to entering the fiscal year without a budget. New Hampshire has also had to use a temporary spending bill till its budget can be finalized. Both Illinois and Pennsylvania have yet to agree to any spending plan. Alabama hasn’t passed a new budget, but its fiscal year starts in October.
According to a chart on the webpage of Rep. McGrady (R-Henderson), since 1980, the General Assembly has used a temporary measure for budget authority 25 times and only approved a budget before the new fiscal year 11 times. It would seem that the use of temporary budgets has become the rule rather than the exception in state government. The chart is below.
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