Brooks Pierce Capital Dispatch: Both Houses Consider Budget Bills


The House and the Senate considered significantly different budget bills this week and legislators discussed bills on a variety of other topics.

Budget Bills

The two houses of the General Assembly are at odds on revisions to the FY25 budget and the path forward for these bills is uncertain. Given the differences between their two budget bills, the two chambers may leave Raleigh at the end of June for a number of weeks.

The House on Thursday by a 68 to 36 vote passed its version of the FY25 budget bill (H 263) and sent it to the Senate. The Senate Appropriations Committee on Thursday morning passed a budget bill (H 317) that is much shorter and spends less money than the House. That bill is expected to be considered by the Senate on Monday.

Here are some comparisons between the two bills:

  • The House spends significantly more money than the Senate and draws on various reserve accounts,
  • Both provide additional money for child care—a number of groups are advocating for this funding given that federal child care funds sent to the state are ending soon,
  • Both provide significant increases in funding for Opportunity Scholarships, which are vouchers for students to attend nonpublic schools,
  • Both have provisions to facilitate the continued use of federal funds for Internet broadband buildout,
  • Both have additional funds for Medicaid, and
  • Unlike the Senate bill, the House budget provides additional raises for state employees and educators that are in addition to those enacted in the 2023 budget law.   

Transportation Bills

A number of transportation bills are being considered at the General Assembly.

Both houses recently passed the DOT agency bill (H 198) but Gov. Roy Cooper vetoed it because it would allow cutting of more trees and vegetation around billboards. To override the veto, it will take a vote of 60 percent of members present and voting in both houses.

The Senate on Thursday gave preliminary approval to a bill (H 199) that includes provisions on DMV operations and vehicle dealer practices. The Senate will likely give the bill final approval next week and send it to the House.

The Senate this week passed a bill (H 309) that among other things, would change how the DMV Commissioner is selected. Under current law, the DOT Secretary selects the Commissioner, who heads a division within that Department. Under the bill, the Governor would select the Commissioner who would then be subject to Senate confirmation. The bill also has provisions to facilitate the use of federal funds for electric vehicle chargers, alter DMV information technology procurement, change appointments to the North Carolina Railroad Board of Directors, and authorize the creation of a Rail Transportation Corridor Authority. The bill is now pending in the House Rules Committee.

Other Pending Bills and Possible Issues

A number of other notable bills are being considered:

  • The 2024 Farm Act (S 355) is likely headed for a conference committee in which the two chambers will seek to resolve their different versions.
  • An energy and environment bill (H 385) passed the Senate Agriculture, Energy, and Environment Committee and is pending in the Senate Judiciary Committee.
  • The Senate last year passed a bill (S 3) on medical marijuana legalization and that bill is pending in the House. Given that S 3 has not moved in the House, the Senate on Thursday added the medical marijuana provisions to (H 563), a bill regulating hemp. H 563 will likely clear the Senate next week and go to the House.

Information about bills and work of the General Assembly can be found at its website: (

For more information, contact a member of the Brooks Pierce (Government Affairs Team).

(Ed Turlington), Partner
(Drew Moretz), Government Relations Advisor
(Katelyn Kingsbury), Government Relations Advisor

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