North Carolina State Budget

Created by Jaime Huaman and Cheryl McLean

Years covered by this guide: 1929-present

This guide on North Carolina budget publications is intended to help citizens access information on current and past budgets. It is important to remember that the State's fiscal year begins on July 1st and ends on June 30th.

In January-February of odd-numbered years (for example, 2011), the Governor sends a recommended budget for the forthcoming biennium (i.e., next two years) to the General Assembly. From February until June, the General Assembly discusses and revises the proposed budget. In June, the Governor receives the new budget from the General Assembly and either signs it into law or vetoes it. Note that these dates are only approximate, and often the finished budget is submitted to the Governor after June 30th.

In even-numbered years, (for example, 2012) the North Carolina State Budget Recommended Adjustments is issued, based on changes that need to be made in the second year of the biennium.

Below is a list of publications in Government and Heritage library, and where appropriate, links to a digital version of the publication that can be printed or saved.

Summary of the Budget Process

  • The head of each state agency gives budget recommendations to the governor.
  • The Governor publishes his/her budget and it goes to the General Assembly.
  • The House makes changes to the Governor's budget and produces its version.
  • The Senate makes changes to the Governor's budget and produces its version.
  • The parts of the House and Senate budgets that differ go to a conference committee to resolve the differences.
  • The General Assembly submits its ratified budget to the Governor.
  • The Governor either signs the budget into law, does nothing and the budget becomes law in 10 days, or vetoes the budget and returns it to the General Assembly.
  • After the budget becomes law, the ratified budget is certified by the NC Office of State Budget and Management and issued to each agency as its operating budget for the next year.

General Budget Publications

Our State, Our Money: A Citizens' Guide to the North Carolina Budget
This guide, created by the North Carolina Progress Board, provides an easy-to-read explanation of what the budget is how it is created, and where the money goes.

  • Years available: 2003
  • Paper availability: Unavailable at this time
  • Digital availability: 2003
  • Alternate Names: Citizens' Guide to the North Carolina Budget


North Carolina Budget Manual
The North Carolina Budget Manual is produced by the Office of State Budget and Management. This publication provides information used by North Carolina departments, agencies, and institutions to administer their budgets. It provides information on budget execution, fiscal policies and regulations, travel policies and regulations, personnel, rule analysis, and reporting.

  • Years available: 1998; 2010
  • Paper availability: 1998
  • Digital availability: 2001-2010
  • Alternate Names: Budget Manual; State of North Carolina Budget Manual


Governor's Budget

The Governor's Budget (Odd years)
The Governor, in conjunction with the Office of State Budget and Management, creates a budget for the upcoming biennium. The Governor's budget provides information on agency goals, missions, and operations and has been published under several different titles. The titles outlined below are all the same publication. Every couple of years the title is slightly changed.

  • Governor's Recommended Budget: .....

    • Years available: 2011-2015
    • Paper availability: 2011-2015
    • Digital availability: 2011-2015
    • Alternate Names: State of North Carolina; Recommended Operating Budget; the NC State Budget; the Budget
  • Recommended Operating Budget

    • Years available: 2003-2013
    • Paper availability: 2007-2009
    • Digital availability: 2003-2013
    • Alternate Names: State of North Carolina; Recommended Operating Budget; the NC State Budget; the Budget
  • Recommended Continuation Budget

    • Years available: 2003-Current
    • Paper availability: 2003-2007
    • Digital availability : 2003-2013
    • Alternate Names: State of North Carolina; Recommended Operating Budget; the NC State Budget; the Budget
  • The North Carolina State Budget

    • Years available: 1987-2001
    • Paper availability: 1987-2001
    • Digital availability: Unavailable at this time
    • Alternate Names: State of North Carolina; Recommended Operating Budget; the NC State Budget; the Budget
  • The Budget

    • Years available: 1929-1987
    • Paper availability: 1929-1987
    • Digital availability: Unavailable at this time
    • Alternate Names: State of North Carolina; Recommended Operating Budget; the NC State Budget; the Budget
  • The North Carolina State Budget: Summary of Recommendations
    The Summary of Recommendations provides a shorter version of the Governor's budget. The Recommendations provides the Governor's priorities, fiscal impact and revenue forecast, and budgets by department.

    • Years available: 1987-Current
    • Paper availability: 1987-2011
    • Digital availability: 2001-2009
    • Alternate Names: North Carolina State Budget Summary of Recommendations

The Governor's Budget (even years)

  • North Carolina State Budget ... Recommended Adjustments
    The North Carolina State Budget Recommended Adjustments is produced by the Office of State Budget and Management. This title is a summary of the Governor's recommended changes to the budget during the second year of the biennium.

    • Years available: 1988-Current
    • Paper availability: 2002-2011
    • Digital availability: 1988-2011
    • Alternate Names: Recommended Adjustments

General Assembly's Budget

  • North Carolina State Budget Post-legislative Budget Summary
    Created by the Office of State Budget and Management, this document describes changes made to the Governor's budget by the General Assembly during the legislative session. For each item of change described, there is a report of the resulting fiscal change including a change in positions if applicable. The title comes out during each year the General Assembly meets, so it covers both the odd and even years of the budget cycle. An example of the years of coverage is 2007/2009 for the odd year and 2008/2009 for the even year. This is the budget that the Governor signs into law each year.

    • Years available: 1984-Current
    • Paper availability: 1984-2007
    • Digital availability: 1999-2011
    • Alternate Names: Post-legislative Budget Summary; Post-legislative Summary of the State Budget
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