State News

N.C. lawmakers need to approve stopgap spending plan

Posted June 29, 2009 9:06 a.m. EDT
Updated June 29, 2009 7:38 p.m. EDT

— Time's running out in North Carolina's fiscal year, which ends Tuesday. Without a new budget in place, the Legislature is trying to complete a stopgap spending plan to buy some time.

The House scheduled debate Monday night on a so-called "continuing resolution" that directs how Gov. Bev Perdue and state agencies can spend while there's no final budget in place.

Once the bill passes the House, it will return to the Senate.

There could be some negotiating, because the House plan would give lawmakers two extra weeks to work out a two-year deal. The Senate plan, passed last week, proposed no deadline.

Budget negotiations, meanwhile, have been at a stalemate over how to raise nearly $1 billion in revenue for the next fiscal year.

The House would like to generate most of the money through higher sales and income taxes. The Senate prefers to lower the tax rates but tax more services.

Senior budget writers from both chambers said Monday afternoon that they were reviewing a proposed plan. Still, it's unlikely the plan will go up for a vote and be approved before July 1.