SB 13, the Balanced Budget Act of 2011, was debated on the House floor today. Rep. Brubaker began by explaining the bill. The legislation has been offered to address the $3.7 (or $2.7 according to the Governor) billion budget shortfall in the coming fiscal year. Specifically, it would authorize the governor to hold back $400 million from state agencies in the current budget year of 2010-11. It would further transfer millions from various state accounts such as Gold LEAF, the Tobacco Trust Fund, the Health and Wellness Trust Fund, the Wildlife Resources Commission and the Parks & Recreational Trust Fund. By reducing these types of unnecessary expenditures, more unspent funds will be available to carry over to next year’s budget. This would allow NC to reduce the size of the budget gap that will need to be closed.
After a very lengthy debate with ample opportunity to speak on both sides, the second reading of the bill passed 66-51. The final reading and vote will be tomorrow.