See NC_NOW_Legislative_Update #20 (17 Jun 19), with summary and bill listings. Summary follows.
Last week the House and Senate leaders appointed budget conference committee members to reconcile the House and Senate versions of the budget. Budget chairs from both the House and Senate will serve as chairs. For committee members, see: https://www.ncleg.gov/Legislation/Bills/Conferees/2019/H966. No Senate Democrats were appointed to the committee, and only two House Democrats were appointed: Rep. Charles Graham, D-Robeson, and Rep. Elmer Floyd, D-Cumberland–the only Democrats who voted for the House budget.
There are significant differences between the House and Senate budgets. In general, the Senate version is far worse because its tax cuts go deeper and it contains cuts to existing programs not contained in the House budget. Neither the House nor the Senate budget includes Medicaid expansion; however, the Senate version of the budget cuts the proposed Medicaid budget $100 million below the governor’s suggested budget for the first year.
Almost all of the tax cuts go to big business; however, the Senate version does raise the standard deduction for personal taxable income, which will benefit the 80 percent of taxpayers who do not itemize deductions—a change that would result in a maximum $53 reduction for taxpayers who are married and filing jointly.
Most alarming is the Senate’s decision to limit public investments at a time when the state’s population is growing steadily. This is especially true in the area of education, a bad policy that will limit the state’s economic growth over the long run and make North Carolina less competitive. For more details on how the proposed budgets fail the citizens of North Carolina, see: https://www.ncjustice.org/publications/senates-budget-proposal-is-worse-than-houses-by-most-measures/
There is no way to give an accurate account of how the budget negotiations are progressing since everything is taking place in secret behind closed doors, in a process that excludes not only Democratic lawmakers but also the general public and, presumably, testimony from expert witnesses. For a hair-raising account of this secretive process, see: http://www.ncpolicywatch.com/2019/06/13/the-case-of-the-vanishing-budget-how-n-c-s-secretive-budget-process-is-bad-for-the-public-good/
Click on NC NOW Legislative Update #20 (17 Jun 19), to see summary and bill listings.