Capitol Roundup is NC Farms Bureau’s weekly video and email report that summarizes key legislative developments and explains in clear terms how those developments affect agriculture.
NCGA funds farm priorities in $30B budget (September 23, 2023)
State lawmakers finally agreed on a budget for the 2023-2025 fiscal biennium this week and approved the measure Friday morning. They had announced an agreement on HB 259, 2023 Appropriations Act, Monday and moved quickly to get it approved through the week. In addition to the many ag-related spending items listed below, lawmakers put prohibitions on a cap-and-trade requirement for CO² emissions and on the Advanced Clean Trucks rule, which sought to mandate sales of electric-powered trucks. Among the many agricultural provisions in the budget are funds for:
- Large Animal Health Enhancement Fund: $130,000 each year (recurring;)
- NC Agriculture Manufacturing and Processing Initiative (NCAMPI): $10M each year (non-recurring;)
- Department of Commerce Study of Agribusiness Economic Development in North Carolina: $500,000 in FY 23-24 (non-recurring;)
- Animal Waste Fertilizer Conversion Cost-Share Program: $4M in FY 23-24 (non-recurring;)
- Custom Exempt Meat Processing Grants: $250,000 in FY 23-24 (non-recurring;)
- Tobacco Farm Life Museum to fall under state stewardship through Department of Natural and Cultural Resources: $375,000 in FY 23-24 ( $350,000 recurring, $25,000 non-recurring) and $350,000 in 24-25 (recurring;)
- Farmland Preservation: $10M in FY23-24 (non-recurring) and $15M in FY24-25 (non-recurring;)
- Tobacco Trust Fund (TTF): $7M each year (net appropriation – includes a mix of receipts, recurring, and non-recurring funds;)
- Farmers Appreciation Day: $250,000 in FY 23-24 (non-recurring;)
- NC Cattlemen’s Association: $100,000 in FY 23-24 (non-recurring;)
- NC Christmas Tree Association: $512,000 in FY 23-24 (non-recurring;)
- Research Stations Operating Fund: $3.975M each year (recurring;)
- Research Stations Equipment Fund: $4M each year (non-recurring;)
- NC Sweetpotato Promotions: $500,000 each year (recurring;)
- Agriculture Cost Share Program (ACSP): $3.5M in FY23-24 (non-recurring;)
- Community Conservation Assistance Program (CCAP): $333,000 in FY23-24 (non-recurring) and $500,000 in FY24-25 (non-recurring;)
- Agriculture Analytics Platform Initiative with SAS at NC State: $650,000 in FY 23-24 (recurring) and $1M in 24-25 (recurring;)
- Agriculture Analytics Platform Initiative with SAS at NC A&T: $1M each year (recurring;)
- NC State Christmas Tree Genetics Program: $150,000 each year (recurring;)
- CTE grants for Agriculture through NC State to FFA: $2M each year (non-recurring;)
- Green Industry Economic Impact Study through NC State: $350,000 in FY 23-24 (non-recurring;)
- Agriculture cost-share program for Livestock Farmers in the French Broad River Basin: $2M in FY 23-24 (non-recurring;)
- And the Streamflow Rehabilitation Assistance Program (StRAP): $20M in FY 23-24 (non-recurring.)
Gov. Roy Cooper has said he plans to let the budget bill become law without his signature.
Looking ahead, the General Assembly will begin taking public comments on redistricting next week as they start the process of drawing new maps for state House and Senate races and Congressional districts. The Governor will not have the ability to veto redistricting bills, but he may decide to veto other bills that are moving this week. After redistricting and dealing with any possible gubernatorial vetoes on recent bills, we expect lawmakers to wrap up the bulk of the business they plan to handle in this year’s long session.
For more information about these bills or any others of interest, visit the North Carolina General Assembly website, www.ncleg.gov. Bills are searchable by bill number and subject.