The General Assembly has voted to adjourn on Friday, July 1 to a date certain, meaning the 2021-2023 legislative biennium will not formally come to an end on Friday. Senate Joint Resolution 917 Adjournment Resolution provides that the General Assembly will return to Raleigh on July 26, 2022, and then roughly every month thereafter through the end of the year.
Legislators are expected to adjourn the session and leave several high-profile issues, such as Medicaid expansion, medical marijuana legalization, and online sports gambling unresolved. However, one major piece of legislation did see action this week as legislative leaders released House Bill 103, a 2022-2023 budget adjustment. The budget gained initial approval in each chamber on Thursday, by veto-proof majorities, and gained final legislative approval just before adjournment on July 1.
House Bill 103 2022 Appropriations Act adjusts funding of the 2021-2023 budget approved late last year, as well as making new appropriations and policy changes. The spending plan provides for a $27.9 billion state budget, up from $25.9 billion last year, a 7.2% increase. This year, lawmakers had an additional $6 billion at their disposal due to higher-than-expected tax revenue. Citing the need to plan for a possible recession on the horizon, legislators put an additional $1.6 billion in the state's "rainy day fund"
as well as another $1 billion in a newly created Stabilization and Inflation Reserve.
Lawmakers dispensed with the traditional budget process of each chamber writing, amending, and approving a budget plan before appointing a conference committee to negotiate a final legislative budget proposal, and instead used a procedural maneuver to speed up the process by directly negotiating a budget and presenting it to the full General Assembly for an up or down vote. At the time of writing this update, it is unclear if Governor Cooper will sign the budget, veto the budget, or let it become law without his signature.
Highlights of the budget special provisions, as well as the accompanying money report, can be found here
Other legislation impacting counties that was considered this week at the General Assembly can be viewed at this link