On the money hunt in Senate Approps

Senate Appropriations is taking up a bill that gives Gov Bev Perdue more budgeting power - and empties out a list of state and MSA funds.

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The Senate Appropriations meeting is underway in 643.  You can listen in live at ncleg.net\audio.

On the agenda is S13, which as of yesterday was a pretty simple bill, giving the governor expanded powers to manage the state budget through the end of this fiscal year.  But as things do around here, the simple little bill suddenly got a lot more complicated.  

The proposed committee substitute  now includes transfers of most unreserved funds from the MSA (Master Settlement Agreement), Golden Leaf would lose $67M, most of its funding for next year.  The Health and Wellness Trust Fund would give up about $12 million. And the Tobacco Trust Fund would lose $2.8 million.

The bill would also pull back any unreserved unspent money from funds across state government.  

This is all in addition to giving the governor the right to hold back money from all state agencies. Appropriations Counsel Cody Hand  says the goal is to come up with a $700 to $800 million cushion to carry into next year.  

Correction: An earlier version of this post said the MSA was also known as the Tobacco Buyout.  They were actually two separate settlements.  Apologies, and thanks to Brian Long at NCDACS for pointing it out! 

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