State Budgets 2012: North Carolina


North Carolina

To see more state budget news and information, visit State Budgets 2012

Budget Background:

  • Fiscal Year Begins: July 
  • Frequency of Legislative Cycle: Biennial (regular session, 2011 through 2012)
  • Legislative Session for 2012: Convened January 4, 2012, Adjourned July 2, 2012
  • Frequency of Budget Cycle: Biennial (for example, FY 2012-2013)

Learn more from the National Association of State Budget Officers

Budget News and Information: 2012

2/23/12: Perdue Finds Funding for More Pre-K Classes

Gov. Bev Perdue announced an additional 2,000 spots for children in the state's pre-kindergarten program Wednesday - the latest move in her confrontation with the legislature over preparing at-risk 4-year-olds for school. "I'm sure there will be a gnashing and grinding of teeth, but at the end of the day, regardless of what (legislators') reaction is, there will be 2,000 children who by Aug. 15 will have the preparation they need to start kindergarten prepared," the governor said, speaking at Happy Face Preschool in Raleigh. "That's a fight worth having." Perdue will create the slots using $9.3 million in federal child care subsidy money that has so far gone unused this year. 

Read More: News and Observer
2/29/12: Perdue to Delay NC Ferry Tax
Gov. Beverly Perdue invoked executive powers Tuesday while announcing she would place a yearlong moratorium upon new or increased tolls on several ferries at the North Carolina coast, but a top Republican leader at the Legislature said she's defying state law.
Read More: WAVY News
3/8/2012: Legislators Consider Repealing Estate Tax
State lawmakers took their first look Wednesday at a proposal to repeal North Carolina's estate tax. Advocates for the poor say doing away with the tax would only help a small sliver of the state's wealthiest people. But conservatives, who historically oppose the "death tax" in the first place, say steps must be taken because more estates will be taxed beginning in 2013 because of a change in federal law.
Read More: News and Observer
3/16/2012: State Lawmakers to Consider Online Sales Tax Legislation
Backers of the bills, one pending in the House, one in the Senate, said they are optimistic that they can pass a law this year that would permit North Carolina and other state governments to collect sales taxes from online retailers such as and
3/20/2012: Governor Launches Tour to Push for More Education Spending
Governor Bev Perdue said she will embark on a two-week statewide tour to make a case for more education money and called for a conservative nonprofit to stop airing a television advertisement about teacher funding.
Read More: News and Observer
3/24/2012: Governor Pushes for Teacher Raises
Governor Bev Perdue said Friday that she will propose a pay raise for North Carolina teachers in the budget she'll send the General Assembly later this spring. The news came at the end of Perdue's speech to the N.C. Association of Educators, which is holding its annual convention this weekend in Winston-Salem. The governor told an applauding crowd of hundreds of educators that she wants the Republican-controlled General Assembly to "unfreeze the teachers' salary schedule."
4/5/2012: State Medicaid Program Gets Reprieve from Federal Regulators
The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services informed the state Medicaid office that it would have until January to enforce new regulations to ensure people living at home and residents of adult care homes receive comparable personal care services. Extending the deadline gives legislators more time to figure out how to resolve a $150 million shortfall in the state Medicaid program.
4/13/2012: State Attorney General Questions Governor's Executive Order on Ferry Tolls
North Carolina's attorney general is questioning the legality of Governor Beverly Perdue's executive order placing a one-year moratorium on new or increased ferry tolls that legislative leaders say they ordered in the budget. "It is our opinion that the state law as passed by the Legislature must be followed," Attorney General Roy Cooper said in a prepared statement. "It was the Legislature's decision to collect tolls and the Legislature has the authority to remove them."
Read More: Charlotte Observer
4/20/2012: Superintendents Urge State Lawmakers Not to Cut Education Funding
The Legislature's education oversight committee invited four superintendents to give their views a month before the budget-adjusting session begins. They urged lawmakers to ease back on requiring all districts to return a combined $503 million to the state during the next fiscal year, which would be a $74 million increase from this fiscal year.
Read More: CBS News
4/25/2012: General Assembly Adjourns, Will Resume Budget-Writing Session Next Month
The North Carolina General Assembly has officially adjourned until its budget-adjusting session next month, but not before a leading Senate Democrat criticized education reform legislation introduced by Republicans.
Read More: News and Observer
5/1/2012: State Expects Small Surplus in This Year's Budget
The General Assembly's top staff economist, Barry Boardman, told lawmakers that revenue projections are still on track for a small surplus heading into the next budget writing session. An additional $233 million is expected to come in before the fiscal year ends on June 30, because of improved income tax withholding amounts from paychecks. 
5/11/2012: Perdue Promotes Budget Plan in Winston-Salem
Governor Perdue visited Winston-Salem recently and touted her final budget plan during a visit to a local community college. The General Assembly has already voted down a key part of the plan, a sales tax increase to raise $760 million for education funding. Perdue's nearly $21 billion budget includes a 1.8 percent raise for K-12 teachers and another 1.5 percent or so for school administrators.
5/16/2012: Lawmakers Return for Session, Face Budge and Other Policy Issues
The General Assembly recently returned for a session that will primarily focus on making changes to the state's two-year budget passed in 2011. At issue is a temporary sales tax increase supported by Governor Perdue that is opposed Republicans in the state legislature. In addition to budget issues, lawmakers will also grapple with potential regulation of hydraulic fracturing, gaming, and education reform proposals in the six week session.
Read More: The Virginia Pilot
6/1/2012: House Lawmakers Pass Budget
The North Carolina House recently passed a $20.3 billion budget after lengthy and sometimes acrimonious debate by a vote of 73-46. Chances for final passage with the Senate are mixed because of policy and funding differences in education in each chamber's proposals.
Read More: Charlotte Observer
6/11/2012: Senate Budget Proposal More Modest than House-Passed Budget
The Republican controlled Senate recently announced announced a budget agreement that would spend $127 million less than the budget approved by House and over $700 million less than was requested by Governor Perdue. Government workers would get a 1.2% pay raise and retired state workers would see a 1% cost of living adjustment increase in the proposal. The budget also sets aside $100 million for expected Medicaid cost overruns. Activist groups and state education groups have come out against the budget because they believe it underfunds their priorities.
6/20/2012: House and Senate Republican Leaders Announce Budget Deal
House Speaker Tom Tillis announced that a deal has been reached between House and Senate Republican leadership on a final budget agreement that will also set a target adjournment date for July 2. This will give Governor Perdue up to 10 days to determine if she will approve or veto the budget. At least one major issue of contention, salary increases for teachers and state workers, appears to have been settled with the inclusion of pay raises.
Read More: Charlotte Observer
6/22/2012: Summary of Budget Highlights in FY 2012-13 Deal
The FY 2012-13 state budget highlights include:
  • A 1.2% pay raise for state workers, teachers, and workers for the University of North Carolina and community college system.
  • A 1% cost of living adjustment for retired teachers and state employees.
  • A 37.5 cent/gallon cap on the state's gas tax.
  • $212 million spending increase for Medicaid. 
7/3/2012: Legislature Overrides Governor's Veto, Passes Budget
On July 2nd, the Republican-led legislature voted to override Governor Perdue's veto of the FY 2012-2013 budget by a vote of 31-10 in the Senate and 74-45 in the House. It marks the 11th time the legislature has voted to overturn a veto raised by Governor Perdue in the past two years - a record number since the veto power was granted to the executive in 1996. The $20.2 billion budget was roughly $100 million below what Perdue requested and she released a statement, ""Under their budget, schools will receive $190 million less next year than they received this year; economic development initiatives to help companies create jobs in the biotech and manufacturing sectors will go unfunded; and North Carolina families will be less safe because there won't be enough probation officers." 
Read More: Chicago Tribune

Budget News and Information: Previous Budget Cycles

6/16/11: Lawmakers overturn Governor's Veto

A North Carolina state government budget written by Republicans that cuts taxes, scales back environmental controls and trims courts and dozens of agencies became law Wednesday despite Democratic Gov. Beverly Perdue's arguments it would eliminate tens of thousands of jobs.

Read more: Forbes

6/13/11: Governor Perdue Vetoes Budget

Democratic Gov. Bev Perdue on Sunday vetoed the GOP-authored $19.7 billion budget, an act Republican leaders said they will quickly override.

Speaking in the Capitol's old Senate chamber, Perdue said the legislature has turned its back on schools, young children, the environment, public safety and services for the needy.

Read more: Charlotte Observer

6/12/11: Budget is constitutionally challenged

The budget passed by the legislature cuts or eliminates the very programs that help keep North Carolina within the state's constitutional mandate of providing a sound basic education for every child, according to new arguments by lawyers in a school finance lawsuit.

In the long-running lawsuit known as Leandro, attorneys representing five low-wealth counties have challenged the $19.7 billion budget passed by the legislature earlier this month.

Read more: News Observer

6/5/11: House passes budget, similar to the Senate

The North Carolina legislature has sent its budget to Governor Bev Perdue’s desk, and it includes deep cuts for agencies around the state, including education. The $19.7 billion spending plan passed the N.C. House by a vote of 73-45 early Saturday morning, matching a similar Senate plan.  The budget cuts roughly 13,000 education jobs statewide, including nearly 9,300 in public schools.

Read more: WCNC

6/2/11: Budget gets nod from the Senate

The North Carolina Senate gave initial approval Wednesday to a $19.7 billion budget for next year that Republicans say softens cuts to public education and lets temporary taxes expire. But Gov. Beverly Perdue and other Democrats contend it will lead to thousands of layoffs and damage health care for the poor.

Read more: Forbes

6/1/11: A budget with policy changes

With little public debate, North Carolina's Republican lawmakers are poised to enact sweeping changes to state government.


5/29/11: North Carolina considers a Taxpayer Bill of Rights

Such a change to the state constitution would only allow for the state budget to grow as inflation grows.

Read more: Lincoln Tribune

5/26/11: Senate budget panel approves NC spending plan

The North Carolina Senate's chief budget-writing panel on Wednesday approved the Republican-penned $19.4 billion state government spending plan, rejecting amendments to reduce the number of potential teacher assistant layoffs and to keep the state crime lab under Attorney General Roy Cooper.

Read more: Forbes

5/9/11: Budget concerns and impacts are revealed

The latest version of the budget approved by the House of Representatives last week includes cuts to education and environmental issues affecting coastal waters.

Read More: ENC

4/26/11: Higher fees proposed in the budget to fund cutbacks in other areas

The NC House Finance Committee has recommended $100million in increased fees as a method to cover budget gaps. The legislature will debate the increased funds and how they are used later in the session. The higher fees are most noted in drivers education and court costs.

Read more: Forbes

2/18/11: GOP, counties unhappy with Perdue's N.C. budget

Gov. Beverly Perdue unveiled a spending plan Thursday that would eliminate 10,000 employee positions next year and keep mostly in place a temporary sales tax to close a $2.4 billion gap, saying it would make North Carolina government more efficient and protect teacher jobs.

Read more: The Virginian Pilot (Hampton Roads)