The NC Senate last night rejected a proposed “mini-budget” that had last week been approved by the House. The main sticking point between the two chambers continues to be projected funding needs for Medicaid – which has an impact over the amount of funds available to provide pay raises to teachers.
“There are a number of problems with this latest political gimmick,” Sen. Tom Apodaca, R-Henderson, told his colleagues.
Apodaca then moved to return the measure to the House “for further consideration,” a motion last used in 2005. It did not require a vote because no other senator objected.
The Senate and House are at odds over a few key points of the budget. The deepest gap is over how much money each chamber thinks will be needed to pay for the Medicaid health insurance program for the poor and disabled. Senators say House members have been too rosy in their outlook.
That skepticism extends to the mini-budget sent over as Senate Bill 3.
“It doesn’t balance,” Sen. Harry Brown, R-Onslow, said of the slimmed-down bill.
Brown said House and Senate budget negotiations were ongoing.
But the beginning of the state’s new fiscal year is Tuesday. Without a revised budget in place, the state will continue to operate because lawmakers passed a two-year budget last year.