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Lawmakers Pick Up Budget Debate After Delays

North Carolina State Legislature
Dave Crosby

Like a flight that keeps getting delayed, House budget deliberations never took off on Wednesday.

The setbacks points to the slow, complex process of passing a state spending plan. They also hint at some divisions and philosophical differences within the Republican Party.

The $22.2 billion budget draft unveiled earlier this week has faced criticism from some conservatives.

Debate on the proposed House budget was supposed to start yesterday afternoon. Instead there were long technical debates on solar tax credits and a venture capital fund. Then there were hours of closed-door caucus meetings as Republicans worked through the nuances of a proposed budget that would increase state spending by more than six-percent.

The budget as it currently stands would give state employees a 2-percent raise, provide $158 million of incentive money and increase student vouchers. House members learned earlier this month the state has a projected budget surplus of $400 million, though some conservative groups say this budget goes too far.

Several representatives in the majority have voiced concerns about incentives. This proposal has more than $150 million for job and film development.  The tea party group Americans For Prosperity is running radio ads condemning a spending plan that increases the North Carolina's budget by some $1.3 billion.

The Full House is, again, expected to debate the budget beginning this morning.


Jeff Tiberii is the co-host of WUNC's "Due South." Jeff joined WUNC in 2011. During his 20 years in public radio, he was Morning Edition Host at WFDD and WUNC’s Greensboro Bureau Chief and later, the Capitol Bureau Chief. Jeff has covered state and federal politics, produced the radio documentary “Right Turn,” launched a podcast, and was named North Carolina Radio Reporter of the Year four times.
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