Today@NCCapitol (Sept. 14): Budget deal may be ready for review

Posted September 14, 2015

Legislative Building

— Good morning and welcome to Today@NCCapitol for Monday, Sept. 14. Here's what's going on at the General Assembly and around state government.

WHITE SMOKE: After days of practicing something like a cross between the Kremlinology of the Cold War era and the vigil that anticipates the naming of a new pope, reporters were told Friday night that top lawmakers had reached a deal on the budget. After some initial discrepancy over whether tax provisions would be included in the deal, lawmakers confirmed on Saturday that the whole budget, which will include some tax changes, should be rolled out on Monday.

July 1 was the beginning of the new fiscal year, but it has taken House and Senate Republicans until this weekend to hash through their differences over taxes and spending. Although the House and Senate drafted their chambers' budget proposals largely in the open, the conference process used to craft a compromise has been entirely behind closed doors. In the end, the final deal appeared to be crafted by the chambers' two top leaders and a handful of staffers in a conference room.

SESSIONS: Both the House and the Senate are expected to go into session at 10 a.m., but no votes are scheduled for those morning meetings. The House will meet at 7 p.m. for a voting session.

SO WHAT'S IN THE BILL? The public will get a first look at the budget bill sometime on Monday, although it's unclear when. Both House Speaker Tim Moore and Senate President Pro Tem Phil Berger said they want to brief their caucuses on the measure before releasing the plan.

Although a handful of top lawmakers have worked on the bill in recent days, most rank-and-file members – even those who, in theory, serve on the conference committee working out the final compromise between the House and the Senate – don't know what's in it.

Members of the House conference committee have been told to expect a 1 p.m. meeting on Monday.

All of that points to a bill being posted online Monday afternoon at the earliest, and some staffers warn it could be Tuesday morning before the full document is available.

WORTH NOTING: Gov. Pat McCrory told the Associated Press that he was unhappy with some of the tax changes potentially included in the spending measure. If lawmakers keep on their current timeline, the bill would arrive on McCrory's desk less than a day before the state's temporary spending authority runs out.

SPEAKING OF THE GOVERNOR: He is scheduled to make an economic development announcement in Charlotte at 1 p.m.


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