While North Carolina has a small budget surplus, Republican lawmakers say they hope to trim more spending from state government. STATUS: Gov. Pat has signed the $20.6 billion state budget for the fiscal year that began July 1, 2013.
Rewriting the state budget is annual tax for state lawmakers. The $20.2 billion budget passed in 2012 expires June 30.
For the past four years, lawmakers have been dealing with deficits that required hundreds of millions of dollars worth of cuts to state spending. This year, tentative budget projects show the state's fiscal picture has improved and that North Carolina may be running a small surplus. The one area that's a possible exception, according to lawmakers, is the perennially problematic Medicaid health insurance program for the poor and disabled.
While lawmakers will not be forced to cut because of a crises this year, Senate leader Phil Berger said he believes Republicans will endeavor to further trim state spending. After the governor presents his budget, the state Senate will draft its spending plan. The House will then generate a budget and the three versions will be reconciled into a final compromise budget.
Bills and status:
Update (6/23/13): Now that Gov. Pat McCrory, the Senate and House have all drafted their own versions of the budget, the plans must be reconciled. There are dozens of specific differences between the plans, although all agree on the need to focus on basic items like maintaining state buildings. Broadly speaking the biggest differences are in the education arena, with the Senate giving bigger support to the university system and the House making fewer cuts to K-12 public education.
Although negotiators are working on a compromise plan, they expect to miss the July 1 deadline for passing a new spending deal before the beginning of the fiscal year. A temporary budget, known as a continuing resolution, will be put in place to ensure the government continues to operate while a final deal is worked out.
Update (7/1/13): Lawmakers have passed a continuing resolution to give themselves until July 30 to adopt a final spending plan.
Update (7/18): Legislative leaders say they expect to come to an agreement by July 21. House Speaker Thom Tillis said he expected a budget "conference report" to be read into the House floor on Sunday night.
Update (7/29): Gov. Pat McCrory has signed the final budget passed by lawmakers. Click here for details.
Budget deal resolves session's biggest political stories
The state budget brings clarity to long-fought battles over how teachers will be paid, how the Commerce Department will be organized, funding for rural development and other stories.
Interactive: Comparing Budget Proposals
Even though Republicans control the state House, Senate and governor's mansion, each of those bodies has a vision of how to build the state's annual budget. A comparison shows that while the totals are similar spending on education is a key point of difference.
House, Senate budgets have big differences on education
Two years ago, the House and Senate were so much in sync that they didn't even need to have a formal conference committee to settle differences over the budget. This year? Not so much.
Senate finishes work on its budget plan
Senators voted a second time Thursday to approve a $20.6 billion budget. The measure now goes to the House, where Republicans will craft their own spending measure. A final draft of the budget is due by June 30.
Senate leaders explain budget plan
Senate budget leaders say their $20.58 billion proposal meets the "core functions" of government without raising taxes. It also would make major changes in how existing revenues are directed.
Senate unveils proposed spending plan
The Senate's $20.6 billion budget pursues many of the education policy changes lawmakers have pursued throughout the spring. It would also trim services for those who receive Medicaid, the joint federal-state health insurance program for the poor and disabled.
McCrory rolls out first spending plan
Gov. Pat McCrory unveiled a $20.6 billion annual budget Wednesday that he says would hire more teachers, plow more money into early childhood education, give raises to state employees and tackle a number of items he has talked about for the past year.
McCrory's budget likely to target education, Medicaid
Gov. Pat McCrory's budget presentation is only the first formal step in a long process. Lawmakers are expected to work on the state's tax and spending plan until June.
Medicaid 'nagging problem' for state budget
Medicaid spending is a "continuing, nagging problem" for North Carolina, Senate President Pro Tem Phil Berger said Wednesday, and the state Department of Health and Human Services will be challenged to get it under control.
McCrory calls on NC government to partner with Main Street
A week after he was sworn in to office in a private ceremony, Gov. Pat McCrory took a public oath of office Saturday morning in North Carolina's traditional inauguration ceremonies.