Budget Veto Expected This Afternoon

Lawmakers spent the week trading messages with Governor Bev Perdue regarding the $20.1 billion state budget awaiting the Governor’s signature or veto. North Carolina Senate appropriation leaders introduced a bill on Tuesday, June 26, 2012, that would provide for only a minority of changes in the event of a veto the bill.  Moments later, the North Carolina House introduced a budget corrections bill that was later rejected by the Senate. The bill will now sit in a joint conference committee. While a number of health and human services issues are addressed in the budget corrections bill, no further rate adjustments are included.

Meanwhile, the Governor appealed for Legislators to do more for education. She proposed using the $100 million reserve funds to be used for Medicaid in the event of a shortfall to shore up education programs. Later in the week, she proposed additional spending based on $117 million in additional tax collections that have just come to light at the end of the fiscal year. House and Senate leaders have rejected her appeals for more spending and have asked her to sign the budget.

The support of the five Democrats that have voted for the last two budgets is critical to override the Governor’s veto.  An override is not possible in the House without those Democrat votes.  If lawmakers were to adjourn without overriding a budget veto, Medicaid providers would be left with significant trouble ahead.  Without the newly proposed budget adjustments, Medicaid will not have enough money to cover provider reimbursements for the next year. 

Lawmakers are scheduled to return to Raleigh on Monday and Tuesday of next week to wrap up the 2012 session. The Governor is expected to veto the bill on Friday afternoon. The NCMS will continue to monitor this process and inform members of opportunities to take action. Watch for additional information about the close of session over the weekend and early next week.


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