We are finding out a little more day by day about what the budget includes. Yesterday the budget passed the NC Senate. As we knew, there has been no opportunity for amendments. The budget was published at approximately 9pm on Monday night, offering very little chance for legislators to read and consider all 267 pages.
Some notable comments include:
NC Policy Watch published an analysis of some of the key differences between this budget and the Governor's budget.
Senator Floyd McKissick Jr. noted that the budget makes the proposed Durham - Chapel Hill light rail project highly unlikely. The Charlotte Observer also commented on the impact this provision will have on future transportation projects in Charlotte.
NC Policy Watch also highlighted a provision in the budget which could fundamentally change education funding in the state, authorizing North Carolina municipalities to spend tax revenues on charter schools in addition to traditional public schools. This may not seem like much, but would represent a significant overhaul of school funding, with no opportunity for debate or proper scrutiny and consultation.
The News and Observer has published an article describing the ways in which this year's budget is already being used for political ends.
And finally, no NCGA session would be complete without a series of editorials lamenting the state of our democracy. Find out what WRAL and the N&O have to say.