Saturday, June 4, 2011

N.C. House Gets Ready to Advance $19.6 Billion Budget

The N.C. House is on the verge of sending a final version of the General Assembly's state budget to Governor Perdue.

The budget, which passed the Senate on Thursday before moving to the House, totals somewhere around $19.6 billion. It cuts state spending and allows a temporary sales tax to expire. It also allows an income tax surcharge to expire and exempts the first $50,000 of small business earnings from taxation.

Republican legislators claim that the budget is a responsible effort that will help to balance North Carolina's economic future. Democratic opponents of the bill, including Governor Perdue, claim that the cuts in the budget are too deep.

If the budget goes on to pass the House and ends up on Perdue's desk, it will then become a question of whether or not Perdue uses her veto power. If she vetoes the bill, there is a chance that the General Assembly could override her veto.

Republicans currently have a veto-proof majority in the Senate, but they are slightly short of a veto-proof majority in the House.

The House voted in favor of the budget by a vote of 73-44. All Republicans voted in favor of the budget and they were joined by five Democrats. In order to override a possible veto, Republicans would need at least four of those Democrats to join them in the override.

We will now have to wait and see what Perdue does. If she vetoes the bill, it is almost certain that the General Assembly will attempt an override.