by Sarah Curry
Director of Fiscal Policy Studies
Yesterday we heard in a press conference the Senate’s plan to speed up the budget process with their compromises. They have decided to remove their Medicaid reform and economic development provisions from their version of the budget in efforts to pass a state spending plan before the continuing resolution expires on August 14th. Below is the official press release that was sent out after the press conference….
Raleigh, N.C. – Senate Republicans announced Wednesday they are taking steps to address key concerns of the House of Representatives and executive branch and quickly reach a final agreement on the state budget.
In response to concerns from the House and Gov. Pat McCrory about major policy items being included in the Senate budget, senators said they will consider separate, compromise proposals on economic development and tax relief and Medicaid reform in the coming days.
“The policies we implement usually have fiscal implications, and that’s why the original Senate budget, like previous budgets, included a number of reforms tied to state spending,” said Senate Leader Phil Berger (R-Rockingham). “But we recognize the concerns of the House and the governor, and this is a good faith effort to get the ball rolling and remove impediments to getting a budget done.”
Senators also reiterated their shared commitment with the governor to passing a budget that keeps spending in line with population growth and inflation. Gov. McCrory has said the budget passed by the General Assembly should not spend more than $21.65 billion – which will cover the combined growth of 2.7 percent this fiscal year, according to the Office of State Budget and Management. Senate Republicans said they intend to adopt a budget that does not exceed that amount.
“Gov. McCrory has repeatedly called on the legislature – both publicly and privately – to adopt a budget that limits spending increases to no more than the rate of inflation plus population growth, which totals $21.65 billion,” said Senate Appropriations Committee Co-Chairman Harry Brown (R-Onslow). “While this proposed spending limit is significantly higher than either the Senate’s or governor’s original proposals, the number is sustainable and the policy rationale for developing it is sound. We encourage our colleagues on the House Appropriations committee to join us in accepting the governor’s proposed compromise.”