Under the Dome

A primer: State budgeting 101

Gov. Pat McCrory presents his proposed budget on Thursday at 11 a.m. Here are some questions and answers about the process.

Q. Is this a final decision?

A. No. McCrory’s budget is a starting point, and it’s written without knowing for sure how much money the state will have to spend next year. Revenue figures will be available in April, after the tax-filing deadline.

Q. What happens next?

A. The House will write its own budget.

Q. Then what?

A. The Senate writes a budget, using the House budget as a guide.

Q. And so that’s it?

A. No. With different versions passed by each chamber, House and Senate budget writers must meet to work on a compromise. McCrory will be working all along to see that his priorities are funded in the final version.

Q. Then it goes to the governor?

A.Once both the House and Senate approve a budget, it goes to McCrory. He can veto the budget, but the legislature has the ability to override a veto.

Q. What’s the timeframe for all this?

A. Legislators and the governor aim to have a new budget finished by the time the new fiscal year starts on July 1. Lawmakers may miss that deadline, but would have to approve a stop-gap budget to keep government running if negotiations extend past July 1.

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