NCGA Week in Review: June 18-22

June 22, 2012

Pardon Our Dust

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Governor Receives Final Budget from Legislators

Following a weekend of negotiations, the House and Senate agreed upon a $20.2 billion budget compromise this week that adjusts the second year of the two-year budget. Both chambers passed the new budget Thursday, June 21st (House: 71-45; Senate 30-15).  Five Democrats joined 66 Republicans in voting for the plan with the Senate vote going along party lines. The budget now goes to the Governor for her consideration where she has 10 days to decide whether to veto the bill, sign it or let it become law without her signature.  

The budget plan was developed from competing House and Senate plans where conferees negotiated on several contentious items:

•    Teacher Bonuses/Raises: 1.2 percent raise.

•    Education Reform: Funding for parts of Senator Berger’s education reform plan ($27 million).

•    K-12: $251 million increase in recurring funds.

•    Infrastructure Projects: Funding eliminated for the Garden Parkway and the Mid-Currituck Bridge. Funding retained for the Blue Line Extension.

•    Eugenics Compensation: No appropriation for eugenics compensation.

•    Medicaid: $100 million for the Medicaid rainy day fund.

Click here to review the full budget.
Click here to review the corresponding “money report”.

Legislators Advance Funding for Medicaid Shortfall

The House and Senate this week passed legislation that would allow up to $94 million to be appropriated for Medicaid expenses. Last week, legislators learned there was an additional shortfall of around $75 million due to cash flow issues. The additional money is taken from appropriations set aside for state building repairs. Last month, legislators agreed to allow up to $205.5 million, taken from five sources of state money, to be used to close an earlier Medicaid shortfall.

Shale Gas Development Policy Off to the Governor

With a final concurrence vote of 29-15, the Senate officially sent legislation to the Governor that creates a regulatory framework that allows hydraulic fracturing. The bill only allows permits after additional action from the General Assembly, creating a sub-commission under the Mining Energy Commission to oversee the creation of the regulatory framework. Senate Bill 820, the Clean Energy & Economic Security Act which could dramatically reshape the state’s energy landscape now goes to the Governor for her consideration. The Governor has 10 days to act on the legislation.

Regulatory Reform Measures Press Forward

House Bill 952, State Air Toxics Program Reforms received its final vote in the Senate this week, sending the measure to the Governor. The measure would exempt some emission control sources from regulation under the state Air Toxics Program if those sources are subject to regulation under the federal Clean Air Act.

Senate Bill 810, Regulatory Reform Act of 2012 passed the House this week and is headed to the Senate for its last concurrence vote. The bill deals with several regulatory reform measures including clarifications to the Administrative Procedures Act, requirements for agencies to provide private businesses advanced notice on audits, clarification that state Air Quality regulations cannot be superimposed with state Water Quality regulations, and lengthening the term for a solid waste permit from five years to ten years.

Legislators Expect to Head Home Before July 4th

Per an adjournment resolution passed out of the Senate, legislators will be leaving Raleigh on June 30th. Speaker Tillis has indicated an expectation of adjournment by July 2nd. The adjournment schedule primarily centers around the timeline for a potential veto by Governor Perdue on the budget. The Governor has 10 days to act on any piece of legislation as long as the General Assembly is in session.