NC House speaker: Budget, new maps are goals for October
RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — Republican legislative leaders are aiming to finalize a North Carolina state government budget and complete redistricting by the end of October, House Speaker Tim Moore said on Wednesday.
Speaking to reporters after a House floor session, Moore said he was hopeful that House and Senate Republican budget writers would get a compromise spending plan to Democratic Gov. Roy Cooper next week. The General Assembly wouldn’t vote on that plan. Rather, it would serve as a starting point for negotiations with Cooper.
The governor, Moore and Senate leader Phil Berger have expressed more optimism this year that Cooper could accept and sign into law a final two-year budget. A comprehensive budget never got enacted in 2019 when a Cooper veto led to a stalemate with the GOP.
“The goal right now is to have a budget finalized in the first week or second week of October,” Moore said. “And then I think redistricting would probably fall in the next week or so after that.”
The fiscal year began July 1, but there was no threat of a government shutdown.
The General Assembly’s redistricting committees are holding public hearings this month before drawing new boundaries for legislative and congressional seats. Meetings were scheduled in Durham and Nash counties on Wednesday and in Pitt and Alamance counties on Thursday.
Moore, a Kings Mountain Republican, said later Wednesday he also was hopeful the legislature could wrap up its business for this year’s session by the end of October.
Lawmakers still have other pieces of legislation to consider that may pass in the session’s final weeks or be pushed to 2022. They include measures authorizing marijuana use for medicinal purposes and the licensing of sports wagering outlets. Also pending are a wide-ranging energy production bill and a measure to force more controls upon the North Carolina High School Athletic Association.