July 12, 2019
State Budget Stalemate
On June 27th, NC Governor Roy Cooper vetoed a $24 billion budget package sent to him a day earlier by the Republican-led state legislature. Once the Governor’s veto message was received the Legislature turned its attention to consideration of a vote to override the veto. A 3/5 majority of members present and voting is constitutionally required in both the House and the Senate to override the veto, thus in the House 7 Democratic votes are needed to override and in the Senate 1 Democratic vote is needed. The House will be the first chamber to consider the override, and for the past two weeks the House Leadership has been working hard to secure the 7 needed Democratic votes. But, by the close of business yesterday, no vote had been taken on the issue of override. Thus, the budget stalemate is confirmed.
On Wednesday morning, House Finance approved HB111, “Supplemental Appropriations Act,” legislation that will allow the state to continue drawing down federal funds for specifically mandated programs. The bill moved forward to the full House where it passed 118-0. This legislation does not take the place of HB966 (budget bill), nor does it halt the efforts to override the Governor’s veto of HB966. It merely directs implementation of the procedures necessary for a budget “continuation” under specified state law and provisions. In other words, something to hold us over until the stalemate has ended.
As for when the impasse will come to an end, it all depends on who you ask. The House has gone home for the weekend, but GOP leaders say they will continue to work on securing the needed votes for an override. Consideration vote for an override of HB966 remains on the House calendar. The House is scheduled to return for session on Monday at 7:00. The Senate is on standby until the override vote has been taken in the House.
HB111 – Supplemental Appropriations Act
Conference Report HB966
Conference Committee Substitute HB966
HB655, “NC Health Care for Working Families,” was heard in the House Health Committee on Tuesday. While not outright Medicaid expansion, sponsors say the legislation would close the coverage gap for low-income families allowing them to obtain affordable health care. The bill includes a work requirement, along with an additional provision mandating participation in “health and wellness” activities.
The bill passed House Health with strong bipartisan support, 25-6, and was initially referred to House Insurance. That referral was stricken and the bill was added to the House calendar on Tuesday where it still sits.
HB655 – NC Healthcare for Working Families
Bills of Interest
Jones St. was hopping with activity for the week following a holiday break, and a number of bills saw action in various House and Senate committees. Below is a short list of bills of interest that saw movement during the past week:
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