At 1:14 a.m. Friday morning, May 22, the North Carolina House of Representatives approved its version of a $22.1 billion state budget. House Bill 97-2015 Appropriations Act passed third reading by a vote of 93-23 following hours of debate and consideration of dozens of amendments. The bill now heads to the State Senate, which is expected to adopt its own version of the state spending plan for the 2015-2015 fiscal year that begins July 1. Assuming the Senate modifies the bill, HB 97 will be sent to a conference committee where differences between the two chambers will be ironed out.
Although HB 97 received bipartisan support from 61 Republicans and 32 Democrats, the opposition to the bill was split almost evenly between the majority and minority party, with 12 Democrats and 11 Republicans voting against it.