The governor signing the North Carolina budget into law, as McCrory did on Friday, usually signals the end the state legislative session. But North Carolina’s House and Senate are back in session this week.
Scattered throughout the state’s budget are references to three bills that have yet to be passed. The first is a $2 billion bond referendum, the largest issuance of state debt in more than a decade. The money would help fund road, bridge and other infrastructure programs throughout the state.
The second is a bill to increase tax incentives to lure businesses to relocate to or expand in North Carolina. This measure sets up a $20 million per year pool of money for that effort, any unspent money remains in that pool. And the final bill is a measure to privatize Medicaid in the state.
These are controversial bills for both Democrats and Republicans though for different reasons. Which is why budget negotiators took a carrot and stick approach. If they’re not passed, they will dramatically change the new state budget. Take the income tax cuts for individuals and corporate tax changes that are now law. If the bond package and incentives bill are not ratified by the end of the year, those tax cuts go away.
All this means the General Assembly will remain in session for at least another week.