Old North State Report - June 3, 2016
The Senate unveiled their version of the state budget this week. It was approved by a party line vote on Thursday and early morning Friday. Democrats objected to various special provisions affecting education policy and advocated for higher state employee compensation. Republicans touted tax cuts and school investments as highlights of a fiscally responsible approach.
House and Senate leaders have agreed on the $22.2 billion overall spending number. Precise differences remain on several issues including teacher pay, state employee raises, cost-of-living increases for state retirees, how quickly to phase in an income tax cut, the amount to add to the state’s reserve accounts, and lower tuition for certain public universities.
The Senate version includes “clarifications” of the 2015 law that imposed sales taxes on certain services after confusion over the exact definitions of repair, maintenance, and installation. Summary of all the finance provisions in the Senate budget are available here:
The General Assembly approved legislation reviving a state commission tasked with managing the clean-up of more than 30 coal ash pits. The margins in the Senate (46-1) and House (86-25) are more than sufficient to over-ride an expected veto from Governor McCrory:
The Governor and Department of Health and Human Services submitted their official waiver request on Medicaid reform to the federal government. Regulators will take approximately 18 months to review the plan and most observers expect substantial negotiations to take place (as well as an election) during that period:
The House approved (60-49 vote) a bill to create “achievement school districts” across the state as a charter management turnaround reform model for low-performing schools:
The House also approved legislation (81-27 vote) to terminate the controversial I-77 toll lane agreement between the state Department of Transportation and a private contractor:
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.