We are about to head straight into the state budget debate. This year the House of the North Carolina General Assembly gets first crack at creating a state budget for the biennial. In an interesting development, all of the House and Senate appropriation subcommittees have been meeting jointly this year. This is good planning for the new leadership, everyone gets the same information at the same time.
So here is how the budget process in our state goes. First the governor releases her budget. That happened on February 14th. Her Valentine's to the state you could say. Then the House leadership would set their budget targets. This year the budget targets were released jointly, so both the House and the Senate are operating under the same fiscal constraints.
Now the real work begins. How do you adjust the governor's which was set at 19 billion down to a budget that is a bit closer to 17.5 billion (According to the News and Observer Story-see link)? How do you do this without deep and devastating cuts to core programs? How do you do this without holding on to the sales tax that is set to expire on July 1? These are the questions that will be bouncing around the General Assembly as the process to create a new state budget gets into high gear in the coming week.
Here are two news story links on the new budget targets. WRAL and The News and Observer.
Want to see the budget targets? Check out News14 link.