Thursday, June 28, 2012

NC Budget Update: Perdue and HAVA

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Governor Perdue doesn’t approve of the budget as is and proposed taking 100 million dollars from the “rainy day” reserve fund originally for the repair and renovation fund. She suggested 10 million dollars of the fund should be used for North Carolina Pre-K programs and 5 million for Pre K and Kindergarten test. Along with changes to the education budget, she recommended another 3.4 million for probation officers and 5 million dollars for eugenics compensation.

 One important item that Perdue included in her budget suggestions was the inclusion of 600,000 dollars to keep the state in compliance with HAVA’s (Help America Vote Act) guidelines. As mentioned in a previous blog, this funding would be instrumental to ensuring that all poll sites are user friendly and up to current accessibility guidelines.  Perdue did not state whether she will choose to veto the budget or approve the budget as is. Rather, she would like the legislators to incorporate her suggestions into the budget.

Expect a press conference held by House Speaker Thom Tillis and Senator Phil Berger to discuss any possible changes to the budget later today. Read more on this story in the Raleigh News and Observer.


HAVA Update: Apparently taking the Governor's suggestions into account, the North Carolina House overwhelmingly passed an amendment to provide the state funding necessary to release over $4 million in HAVA funds. Put forward by Rep. Mickey Michaux, the amendment to SB-187, shifted extra money from the next governor’s inauguration celebration into the HAVA matching fund account. It was a  surprising bi-partisan effort with a remarkable 90-21 margin.

The move must now be approved by the N.C. Senate in order to release the HAVA money. At stake is the state’s ability to offer early voting and reach more voters. With the session ending in a matter of days, things are moving quickly, nonetheless, some Senate leaders are balking. The final outcome is anything but certain.

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