RALEIGH — State lawmakers spent about nine hours going over the house’s state spending plan proposal Wednesday. This is typical a marathon session day- but this year- there was a little more familiarity with the budget because of lengthy sub-committee work. Which is why the legislators, and us reporters, are getting to go home before midnight. 🙂

In the end 105 amendments were offered and voted on. (More actually- but some were pulled by the legislators during the process). None of them were anything that will change anyone’s mind about the budget as a whole– if you liked it, you still do… if you didn’t… you still won’t. But some changes were made- there is now one ferry line that will remain free- Orcacoke to Hatteras- there was money restored for some things like sentencing services, and Learn and Earn Early College High Schools. But still no dice for non-legislative approval of federal rail funding… and Planned Parenthood is still axed from the spending plan.

This budget is likely to stay very partisan. We expect Republicans to vote for it- and democrats to give it a thumbs down. The senate is then expected to change it- and all indications are that the Governor will veto whatever these lawmakers send her way.

This marathon appropriations day is likely just the first of many- as lawmakers work to get this budget signed by the start of the fiscal year on July 1.