Under the Dome

Democrats complain that House budget process will be too rushed

N.C. House Democrats complained Wednesday that the Republican leader’s budget timeline is too rushed to allow for their input.

On Thursday morning, House appropriations subcommittees will take up the draft spending document that budget writers – nearly all of whom are Republicans – have been working on behind closed doors for weeks.

The subcommittees will have all day Thursday to work on their section of the budget, with a final version due out by Monday. House Speaker Tim Moore said he’d like to pass the budget and send it to the Senate by the end of next week.

Rep. Mickey Michaux, a Durham Democrat and former lead budget writer, said that schedule leaves little time to review the documents before the subcommittees vote.

“We haven’t met in (the Education Appropriations Committee) in the last month –we’ve got to then make decisions on what you all have already put together?” Michaux asked.

Republicans said the timeline resembles the budget process when the House was controlled by Democrats before 2010.

“The way we have done things is no different than the way you all did them when you were in charge,” said Rep. Bryan Holloway, a Stokes County Republican and Education Appropriations co-chairman.

The House’s top budget writer, Rep. Nelson Dollar of Cary, said Thursday’s meetings will offer plenty of time to debate spending and propose changes. “Members will have opportunity to look at those packages, to ask questions, to have dialogue,” he said.