Jul 11, 2023 - News

How to fake it: N.C. state budget edition

Illustration of a folder with a dollar bill sign cut out of it. 

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

North Carolina cities, state agencies and employees will receive a new bout of funding when lawmakers agree on a new state budget and usher it into law.

  • If you're not among those of us keeping a close eye on this complicated and wonky process, here's what to know.

Why it matters: The final budget will affect all North Carolinians. It will spend $60 million over two years on pay raises for state employees and teachers, and will cut taxes and direct billions toward water, sewer, roads and other infrastructure projects.

Driving the news: It's unclear when, exactly, our Republican-controlled legislature will send a budget proposal to Democratic Gov. Roy Cooper's desk.

  • Lawmakers originally planned to have the process wrapped up by the end of June, before the fiscal year began.
  • Now, some political observers estimate that it will happen in the coming weeks. We'll see about that.

Context: Leaders in both chambers have different priorities about how to spend state dollars over the next two years.

  • The House, for example, usually wants to spend a little more on raises for state employees and projects for individual lawmakers' districts and a little less on tax cuts.

Between the lines: How long it takes before the state sees a budget depends on how long it takes for Republican leaders to work out a compromise.

Bonus points: One of the most important pieces in budget negotiations this year is Medicaid expansion, which hinges on lawmakers reaching a deal.


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