by Sarah Curry
Director of Fiscal Policy Studies
Late last week, the NC House began to release some of the details of its budget in sub-committees. Shortly after lunch on Monday the House released its full budget plan to the public. The bill, House Bill 97, will be voted on in a full appropriations committee meeting today and then sent to the floor where the entire House will debate the budget bill.
Carolina Journal has a list of all budget documents being released, you can access that list here.
Among the first to respond to the House budget was the North Carolina chapter of Americans for Prosperity with concerns over the extension of expiring renewable energy and historic preservation tax credits. Click here to see their full response.
And while on the topic of budgeting, state lawmakers might have to revisit their transportation spending conversations. For the last few months, the federal government has been dealing with a shortfall in the money it would normally send to the states for transportation. Last week, states got their formal warning from Washington that federal funding for highways, bridges, and transit will expire on May 31st. Here is an excerpt from one of the many national publications covering the story:
"Unless Congress acts prior to this date, the Federal Highway Administration will be unable to make any new obligations of federal-aid funds to your department’s highway projects," U.S. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx said in a letter to state authorities this week. "Unlike last summer’s cash shortfall when states faced the prospect of delayed payments, under a lapse in authorization, reimbursements on all projects will be halted completely, not simply delayed."
"If Congress moves to patch the pothole in funding, it would be the 33rd time in the past six years that lawmakers have exercised that option rather than pass a long-term bill."
This could potentially cause major problems for North Carolina’s transportation budget, since a large percentage of the state’s Department of Transportation expenditures use federal dollars. The uncertainty of federal transportation money has caused twenty states to increase transportation revenues since 2012; North Carolina is one of those states.
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