North Carolina Budget

On January 11, 2017 the North Carolina General Assembly came back to Raleigh for the legislative long session. North Carolina's constitution requires that the budget enacted by the general assembly be balanced and include two fiscal years, beginning on July 1 of each odd-numbered year. The current budget that is in place is for July, 2017 through June 2019.

In the second year of the biennium, called the short session, the Office of State Budget and Management develops the Governor's Recommended Adjustments to the biennial budget, which are basically changes that are recommended. The Legislature then creates their own version of changes that are needed for the second year of the two year budget document. As originally conceived, this was to be minor adjustments based upon revenue and unexpected expenses, but the process has evolved into a full scale review and creation of a new budget. The current budget began July 2017. Click here for the 2017-2019 Certified Budget for DHHS - Mental Health/Developmental Disabilities/Substance Abuse Services. We get questions often about what the budget process is and what it takes to shape the bill that funds our critical state services so we have included the summary below.

We get questions often about what the budget process is and what it takes to shape the bill that funds our critical state services.

Getting to a final budget is a five step process:

Step 1. The Governor’s Budget proposal is released. The Governor of our state releases his/her funding plan and priorities. This budget reflects the vision of the Governor and includes key items that are brought to his attention by his cabinet secretaries. This budget is then presented to the members of the General Assembly for their review.

Step 2. One of the chambers begins the legislative budget process and alternate. In this example, the House starts with their budget priorities. You will see several rounds of meetings with the Health and Human Services Appropriation Committee, Education Appropriation Committee etc. Then each of the committees takes their budget items and presents them to what we call the “big appropriation” chairs. After many meetings and discussion the House will present its budget. The House budget will be voted on and sent to the Senate.

Step 3. The Senate will then make its own budget with its own priorities. The Senate will then hold its own series of meetings and then present its completed budget. The Senate will then vote on the budget and send it back to the House.

Step 4. Budget conference committee gets named. This committee will have Senate and House members. They will take parts of the Governor budget, parts of the House budget and parts of the Senate budget to create a final state budget.

Step 5.When the final budget is completed it gets a final House and Senate vote and then heads to the Governor for his/her signature or veto.

Of course, the actual process is much more complicated and nuanced and we will work hard to make sure that people with Developmental Disabilities are remembered and considered during the process. The Arc of North Carolina will be following all the future debates and discussion around the 2017-2019 budget and we encourage you to follow along with us!