Revenue Up, Bill Drafts Released
The legislative committee that oversees matters of state income policy received an encouraging update on actual revenue numbers this week. The General Assembly's chief economist reported to the Revenue Laws Study Committee on Wednesday that the state will take in over $230 million than expected in the fiscal year ending June 30. Chairman Rucho was quick to add that the money is already spent filling the Medicaid gap.
The committee also voted to recommend several bill drafts for introduction when session convenes next week. These drafts represent the interim work of the committee, who had several hearings on nearly every topic addressed in the pieces of legislation. The recommendations were unanimous and address the following issues:
- Unemployment insurance fraud
- Further clarification and efficiency for process of mandatory combined returns for multi-state corporations
- One year sunset extension on all expiring tax credits
- More thorough reporting requirements for appraisal management companies
- Technical/clarifying corrections
The drafts and bill summaries can be found here.
Budget Writing Begins
Typically the annual North Carolina budget-writing process begins with the Executive Branch; the Office of State Budget and Management will release a draft budget proposal on behalf of the Governor and this can be used as a starting point for the legislature to tweak, approve, and send back. With a Democrat governor and a Republican majority House and Senate, this process is likely to be a bit more complex.
Governor Bev Perdue has outlined some of her general budget priorities in recent days, but has yet to release a document.
Meanwhile, General Assembly appropriators have begun releasing portions of their budget proposal along with the options they've identified for changes and general guidelines for the process.
House budget subcommittees have been instructed to only consider funding restorations or further cuts; no expansions. Below are links to all of the budget documents that have been released thus far by each subcommittee. Health and Human Services and Education budget documents have yet to be released.
Transportation (accompanying bill draft language here)
Natural and Economic Resources
Justice & Public Safety (accompanying bill draft language here)
Health and Human Services (prelim documents here and here)
As they're made available, more documents can be found here through the subcommittee's websites. These numbers are preliminary and have yet to be officially approved by any committee, however, the House has indicated their plans to hold the first reading of their full budget document on the first day of short session on May 16. According to recently released calendars, the House Appropriations Committee will then hold back-to-back meetings on the 17th and 18th to review the document in detail, hear amendments, and vote. The final floor vote in the House is planned for May 23. Senate appropriators will then embark on a similar process with their own version of the budget. A conference committee with top lawmakers from both chambers will be appointed to resolve differences between the two spending plans, and the final agreed-upon version will then be sent to the Governor for approval.
The articles published in this newsletter are intended only to provide general information on the subjects covered. The contents should not be construed as legal advice or a legal opinion. Readers should consult with legal counsel to obtain specific legal advice based on particular situations.