Lawmakers Pick Up Budget Debate After Delays
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.