Legislators at the N.C. General Assembly have been working on their budget for months past their deadline, but N.C. Gov. Pat McCrory sounded hopeful Friday in Charlotte that the impasse might be resolved soon.
State House and Senate negotiators plan to meet over the weekend and continue talks. They’ve said they are optimistic a deal could be reached by early next week.
“I’m seeing some good progress on the budget negotiations,” said McCrory, speaking after signing a bill enacting ride-hailing regulations for services such as Uber and Lyft.
The budget standoff, which started when the House and Senate couldn’t agree on state spending levels, has also delayed agreement on other issues, such as how to replenish funds for the state’s jobs incentives program designed to lure companies to the state. The budget impasse has also left school systems without a final budget even as the school year starts, and no resolution about how much funding they’ll have for teacher assistants.
McCrory called on legislators to vote on such issues separately.
“What I'm strongly recommending is we vote on each of these items independently, and not hold one hostage against the other,” said McCrory. He said it’s time to “start getting out of the back rooms and getting these (bills) on the floor for public debate.”
“I think the only thing holding those back is some are using those as a leverage to get other things added to those bills,” McCrory said of the state’s main incentives program, the Jobs Development Investment Grant.
“We need to get this resolved,” said McCrory. “Nine months is long enough.”