The legislature is nearing a deal on its budget, and the compromise between the House and Senate could be released by the end of the week.
Sen. Harry Brown, a Jacksonville Republican and the Senate’s top budget writer, said he hopes the final budget bill will be made public on Friday, with votes early next week. House leaders outlined a similar timeline Monday.
“I would hope we could read it in sometime Friday and maybe vote it early next week,” Brown said.
He added that the remaining disagreements between the House and Senate have been handed off to the “corner offices,” where Senate leader Phil Berger and House Speaker Tim Moore will work out a compromise. “Most of the items have been worked out, so there’s not much left really,” Brown said.
A vote next week would allow time for Gov. Roy Cooper to sign or veto the budget before the current fiscal year ends on June 30. If he vetoes the final budget bill, Republicans likely have enough votes to override the veto and pass the budget without the Democrat’s support.
A budget deal this month would mean a much faster negotiating process than the last two-year spending plan approved in 2015. That year, House and Senate leaders reached an agreement in September – after passing a series of temporary budget plans to keep state government running.