House, Senate leaders agree on size of state budget

Posted May 4, 2016 4:40 p.m. EDT
Updated May 4, 2016 4:51 p.m. EDT

State budget

— Republican leaders in the House and the Senate said Wednesday they have reached an agreement on a $22.225 billion spending level for the 2016-17 state budget.

The deal clears a major hurdle for lawmakers in the short legislative session. Last year, disagreement over the size of the budget dragged on for weeks, and the $21.7 billion budget wasn't finalized until mid-September.

Now that budget writers know how much money they have to work with, they can begin focusing on how to spend it.

The budget will be slightly smaller than the $22.3 billion spending plan Gov. Pat McCrory put forward last month, but it also exceeds the 2 percent increase targeted by Senate President Pro Tem Phil Berger for the coming year.

The 2016-17 fiscal year starts July 1.