HOUSE BUDGET SUMMARY
13 of 18 Democratic Amendments Adopted Mitigate Damage in House Budget
RALEIGH, NC – House Democrats successfully added the majority of their amendments, that made it to a vote on the House budget. Democrats offered 18 amendments that were voted on and 13 of the 18 were adopted.
“We were able to mitigate some of the damage in this budget through our amendments that passed on the floor. The budget should have reflected the priorities of the people of North Carolina yet it fails to retain our best teachers. Sadly, it fails to raise incomes for middle-class families, fails to recruit new jobs, and – after losing Volvo to South Carolina – fails to make North Carolina competitive,” said Democratic Leader Larry Hall.
“The budget does not address the needs of the majority of the people in this state. Republicans made devastating cuts in the last several budgets and this budget does not repair that damage. Contrary to claims of support for education, this budget failed to put teacher assistants back into our classrooms. These micro increases that do not completely restore or surpass support levels prior to Republican cuts do not materially support education, our economy, or the needs of the people.”
Adopted Democratic Floor Amendments:
· Lottery Funds to supplement, not supplant, public education funding
· Disclosure on Use of Lottery Proceeds
· Corner Store Initiative – “Healthy Food Small Retailers”
· $200k of UNC funds to be used for repairs to World War Memorial Stadium at NC A&T State University
· Repeal Closing of Department of Revenue Rocky Mount Call Center
· Joint Study of Justice and Public Safety and Behavioral Health
· Targeted Case Management Services Pilot Program
· Report of Hospice Residential Beds
· Residential Hospice Funds used for non-profit and publicly funded hospice related care facilities
· Grants for Body-Worn Video Cameras for Law Enforcement Agencies
· Collaboration with State Board of Education with Regional Education Service Alliances
· Workers’ Compensation Claims
· DOT funds allocated to each county based on pavement condition scores
House Budget Faces Uncertain Future
McCrory proposed a $21.5 billion General Fund budget for 2015-16, and $22.2 billion for 2016-17. The House budget is set at $22.2 billion the first year and $22.4 billion the second. The chamber’s plan is a 6.3 percent increase for the biennium over the 2014-15 budget. Asked for a reaction to the House proposal, McCrory spokesman Rick Martinez responded, “The governor stands by his budget.” “I would imagine [Senate leader Phil] Berger, and the leadership of many of our senators, want to maintain what we have accomplished with tax reform, and actually move it in the direction of less credits, less deductions and exemptions, and continue lowering the rates,” said Sen. Bob Rucho, R-Mecklenburg, co-chairman of the Senate Finance Committee.
Read More: www.carolinajournal.com.
HOUSE PASSES BILL ALLOWING MAGISTRATES TO OPT OUT OF SAME SEX MARRIAGES
The N.C. House voted 65-45 Wednesday to allow magistrates to opt out of performing weddings – legislation that stems from the legalization of same-sex marriages in North Carolina last year. Because the House made no changes to the legislation already approved by the Senate, it will go directly to Gov. Pat McCrory. In March, McCrory voiced concerns about the bill and said he won’t sign it. He stopped short; however, of saying he would veto it. The governor can allow bills to become law without his signature. Senate Bill 2 would allow magistrates and register of deeds employees to be exempt from performing weddings if they have a religious objection.
Read more here: http://www.charlotteobserver.com/news/politics-government/article22486821.html
FEDS: NC FOOD STAMP APPROVAL TIME AMONG SLOWEST IN THE NATION
The federal government is again threatening to withdraw operational funding for North Carolina’s food stamp program – this time over the speed at which health officials are approving applications. In a letter to the state’s health agency, the U.S. Department of Agriculture said North Carolina social services workers failed to approve applications within the required 30-day window, or one week for emergency applications. In 2013, the state processed those applications an average of 75 percent of the time, ranking fifth from the bottom when compared to the rest of the country. This means North Carolina lags behind neighbors Tennessee, Georgia and South Carolina and even territories such as the Virgin Islands and Guam.
Read more here: http://www.wral.com/feds-nc-food-stamp-approval-among-slowest-in-nation/14670357/