House, Senate release budgets but may leave without a compromise

Jun 21, 2024

This week was the “hurry-up” portion of the “hurry-up and wait” process that is the annual state budget dance, with both the House and Senate releasing their budget proposals.

The House approved its plan on Thursday. It includes an additional 1% raise for a total of 4% for most state employees and a 2% one-time bonus for retirees. It also includes a raise of 8% for step-pay plan employees, including Correctional Officers, Probation/Parole Officers, and Juvenile Justice employees.

The Senate’s version is much smaller – just 46 pages – and deals mostly with school voucher expansion. It includes no additional money for state employees or retirees.

The Senate will consider amendments and vote on Monday night's second reading of its proposal and Tuesday's third reading. The two chambers will still have to come to a compromise to produce a final budget. Whether or not an expansion budget is passed, the 3 percent salary increase will still be effective on July 1.

Now comes the “wait” portion, and it could be a long one. The House plans to have a busy week of votes next week on other issues before leaving for at least three weeks. Senate Leader Phil Berger said his side will take an indefinite break at the end of the month.

SEANC Government Relations Director Suzanne Beasley breaks down the process in this week’s SEANC View Podcast with Executive Director Ardis Watkins and Communications Director Jon Owens.

Please continue to contact your legislators. You can click here to email your legislators and explain why you need a raise or cost-of-living adjustment in this budget.