The North Carolina General Assembly is finishing its latest session, capping it off with an overwhelming “yes” on a $22.3 billion dollar spending plan.
The budget, approved by the Senate earlier in the week and affirmed in the House Friday, adjusts the second year of the state's two-year budget cycle. The new fiscal year started July 1.
In the new plan, the Republican-led legislature touted pay raises for teachers and state employees, higher standard deductions for income tax filers and nearly $500 million in additional reserves.
While the bill passed with bipartisan support, 91-22, Democrats who voted against it said it was not good enough and that it contained what they called pork – special allocations for local projects.
Notably absent from floor votes in this session – though not from public debate – were potential changes to the controversial House Bill 2. While it became known nationally as “the bathroom law” for the limitations it put on transgender individuals and the restrooms they could use, it contained other controversial measures, as well.
Draft legislation obtained by WBTV seemed to indicate some possible changes to the bathroom provision were in the works. But according to House Speaker Tim Moore, those discussions weren't likely to turn into action.
“There was all this talk of draft legislation,” Moore told the News & Observer. “There's a lot of legislation that gets talked about that's never even filed sometimes. I don't expect that to make it to the floor at this point.”
Instead, Moore said the House planned to vote to repeal a portion of the law that bans residents from suing for discrimination in state courts. Earlier this year, Gov. Pat McCrory called on the legislature to do so.