LEGISLATIVE UPDATE: Cooper to release budget proposal next week

Mar 10, 2023

Gov. Roy Cooper is expected to announce his budget proposal on Wednesday, March 15. Details of the parts pertaining to state employee and retiree raises have not been made public yet.

We were disappointed that Gov. Cooper did not go into more detail in his State of the State Address this week on his plans to combat high vacancy rates in state government.

The speech focused heavily on the private sector victories. He did not mention that the state workforce is suffering through vacancy rates above 20% and more than 50% at some prisons.

We have been in talks with the governor's staff this week on the need for real raises and cost-of-living adjustments for retirees to recruit and retain state employees.

Regarding the budget, Senate Leader Phil Berger and House Speaker Tim Moore agreed on a spending amount this week for the next two years. Spending will increase by 6.5% in the first year and 3.75% in the next. The News & Observer stated that Berger's office confirmed that spending would be about $29.7 billion in 2023-24 and approximately $30.8 the following year.

House leadership has stated it hopes to have a budget plan passed by Easter, with a final budget passed by the start of the 2023-24 fiscal year on July 1.

Also this week, Senate Bill 254 was filed to open state employee personnel files to unnecessary publicity. This bill and the one to remove state employees' right to have their association dues and other payments deducted from their paychecks (Senate Bill 87) remain in the Senate Rules Committee and have yet to be calendared.

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