LEGISLATIVE UPDATE: Senate budget announcement expected May 15

May 05, 2023

The crossover deadline consumed most of the energy at the General Assembly this week. While a few bills discussed involved state employee and retiree issues, the week gave SEANC's lobbyists a chance to have productive discussions with Senators ahead of their budget proposal announcement, which is expected by May 15.

SEANC continues to tell senators that an astronomical 37% first-year employee turnover rate costs taxpayers and the state hundreds of millions of dollars. Legislators must address this problem with a substantial investment in salaries and bonuses this year.

The overall vacancy rate in state government is more than 23 percent. North Carolinians receive nearly 25 percent fewer state services because there needs to be more appeal to working in public service. Budget proposals from Gov. Roy Cooper and the House fell short of what is required to recruit and retain employees.

Once the Senate announces its budget proposal, it will likely move quickly to pass it. Then a conference committee of House and Senate members will iron out the differences; the legislature will pass a compromise plan and send it to Gov. Cooper for signature. Leaders have said they want to finish the whole process soon.

Senate Bill 321, State Treasurer Dale Folwell's bill on the deweaponization of medical debt, passed unanimously through the Senate ahead of the crossover deadline. Senate Bill 87, which would eliminate payroll deduction of dues and products for state employees, and Senate Bill 254, which would open up information regarding personnel actions in an employee's personnel file, remain in the Senate Rules Committee and have not been calendared for a hearing.