The NC House yesterday initially approved their budget proposal by an 81 to 36 vote. The vote came after 7-8 hours of debate on several proposed amendments. To see a full listing of all the amendments and how legislators voted, check out the General Assembly website here.
The N&O provides an overview of the process yesterday here, highlighting the House’s use of projected increases in lottery funds to pay for teacher pay raises. A sample:
Embracing a plan to generate more state gambling revenue, House Republicans gave initial approval Thursday to a $21.1 billion state budget that uses the lottery to provide teachers with an election-year pay hike.
The 81 to 36 vote came after a seven-hour debate in which Democrats questioned whether the money would materialize and Republicans defended the move.
“What I didn’t suspect (when the state approved the lottery) was the folks that would get addicted to gambling would be the General Assembly of North Carolina,” said Rep. Grier Martin, a Raleigh Democrat, who voted against the lottery. “We liked the first hit of it so much we decided to double down on it, and take a double dose of that addicting substance and then use that to try to pay for teacher salaries.”
To read a summary of the House budget, click here.
Each chamber requires 3 votes before a bill is approved, so the House still needs to have its final vote – expected today – in order for the bill to move on. In this case, because the Senate and House differ in the versions of the budget, a conference committee will be formed with leading budget writers from each chamber to iron out the differences between their plans and craft a conference committee budget. The conference budget will then be subject to votes in the Senate and House. Both chambers must approve a final bill before it gets sent to Gov. McCrory’s desk for approval.