Lawmakers to miss budget deadline - again

Posted August 24, 2015

Legislative Building

— With just a week left before their second extended deadline, state lawmakers appear no closer to reaching agreement on their $21.74 billion budget plan.

House and Senate leaders and Gov. Pat McCrory announced last Tuesday they had finally agreed on the size of the budget – a crucial first step in the process. But as of Monday, they hadn’t yet agreed on the spending targets for the various areas of state government, such as education or health and human services.

The budget, due by law July 1, is already 55 days overdue as of Monday. Lawmakers first gave themselves a deadline extension of 45 days. When there was no agreement, they passed a second continuing resolution for an additional 16 days, pushing back the deadline to Aug. 31.

Sen. Tom Apodaca, R-Henderson, the Senate's lead budget negotiator, said Monday that lawmakers will need another extension.

“I don’t think it’s humanly possible it can happen before the 31st, but we can really get down the road and get the budget moving,” Apodaca told reporters. “We should know more within the next 24 hours.

“We’re working diligently. We have been here quite a bit over the last four or five days,” he said, although he also said there were no “full-force” negotiations over the past weekend.

Apodaca wouldn’t offer a potential length for the next continuing resolution, but House chief negotiator Rep. Nelson Dollar, R-Wake, said it could go through Sept. 4 or longer if needed.

Dollar said the two sides have not yet reached agreement on raises for veteran teachers or state employees but said the agreed-upon overall spending target rules out the House’s proposed across-the-board 2 percent raise for all teachers and state employees.

“There will be some compensation increase,” Dollar said. “Now, it’s a matter of looking at what options are available within the amount of money there.”

He also reiterated the House’s commitment to giving school districts the opportunity to keep teaching assistants in classrooms, especially in lower grades.

In the meantime, the meter for the extended session is running.

Legislative officials estimate the cost of a day of session is around $42,000. Lawmakers have held 27 legislative session days since the end of the fiscal year June 30. That adds up to $1.13 million as of Monday.

That figure is likely to rise substantially given that lawmakers still haven’t reached agreement on Medicaid reform, economic incentives, the governor’s bond package or a proposal to overhaul the distribution of local sales tax revenue.


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  • Vinnie Paul Aug 25, 2015
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    Typical conservative response. It is never their fault and Obama created super-lice.

  • James Hawk Aug 25, 2015
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    Quit trying to take up for those Idio*s you put in office and admit they are failing. You cannot put people who do not believe in government in charge and expect it to get done right. Come on really, 55 days past deadline and all they can say is we have been working hard the past 4 or 5 days. What about the other 50 days you wasted. We cannot afford raises for anybody, but they can vote themselves one though. They can sit and collect per diems as long as they are down there, so why not stay what are the reprecussions? NONE!!!! NO RESPONSIBILITY!!!!

  • Jim Halbert Aug 25, 2015
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    and republicans are only spending money we definitely do have now that they're in control of both the house and the senate. good argument. well thought out.

  • William Powell Aug 25, 2015
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    Why don't we pay them according to what they get done? They want to pay teachers on how well student learn!!! Just Sickening that they are two month old on a budget that they knew was needed by July 1!! Change will come at the ballot box.

  • Chris Perry Aug 25, 2015
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    I know, lets just do like the dems and spend money we don't have. Lets not actually make and budget and stick to it. By the way are you really attacking the GOP in the house? You do realize that under dem control this country never had an actual budget.

  • John McCray Aug 25, 2015
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    But that is part of their self-fulfilling prophecy Melanie.

  • Melanie Lane Aug 24, 2015
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    the republicans in the federal house can't create a budget either - they have the governor here and a supermajority in both houses, there is no filibuster in NC, there are no recall elections, and even with that they cannot govern. When you elect people who do not believe in government, you might end up with a government that cannot function.

  • Johan Summer Aug 24, 2015
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    This legislative session is reported to have already cost over $1 million dollars - and there still is no state budget. Let's all remember these folks come next election (or when they are up for re-election). This is ridiculous - and so many things hang in the balance because these folks can't agree.