Legislators shared scant details Friday about state budget negotiations, one day after House Speaker Tim Moore told reporters he expected an agreement on a spending target within hours.
Moore had said Thursday he expected the House and Senate negotiators would agree by the end of that day on the total amount of money the state budget will spend.
The two chambers are more than six weeks overdue to pass a budget, and a temporary budget to keep state government running was extended to Aug. 31. Senate leaders have said they’ll agree to a budget that increases spending by up to 2.7 percent, but the House has been sticking to its proposed 5 percent increase.
Asked Friday about the expected agreement, senior House budget writer Nelson Dollar of Cary had little to say. He did not directly answer a question about whether a spending target had been reached.
“At this particular hour, the negotiations are still ongoing,” Dollar said at midday. “There have been discussions between Senate and House members today. The process is ongoing.”
A spokeswoman for Moore had a similar response to questions Friday. “I can confirm that negotiations are still ongoing,” Mollie Young wrote in an email.
On the Senate side, lead budget writer Sen. Harry Brown did not return a phone call, and a spokeswoman for Senate leader Phil Berger said she did not “have any news to report at this time.”
If an agreement on the overall spending number is delayed, the timeline outlined by Moore on Thursday could get pushed back – making it more difficult for lawmakers to pass a final budget before the Aug. 31 deadline.
Moore had said high-level negotiations would continue over the weekend, and the leaders of the various budget subcommittees would be able to start fine-tuning on Monday.