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July 7, 2014
The new fiscal year for North Carolina began on July 1. Since the Senate and House have yet to reach an agreement on the budget adjustment bill, the state is still operating under the two-year budget act, which was enacted during the 2013 session. While many expected that the stalemate on budget negotiations had solidified, last Tuesday evening Senate leadership called for a rare public meeting of the budget conference committee.
The meeting took place last Wednesday morning and focused on the three foundational differences between the House and Senate proposals: 2013-14 fiscal year reversions, Medicaid expenditures, and lottery revenues. In a packed committee room, the Senate presented an offer to the House and the House followed with their counteroffer. After an hour’s recess, the Senate proposed to split the difference on reversions and accept the House’s position on the Medicaid shortfall and the Medicaid rebase. The two chambers still have to negotiate lottery revenues, teacher pay, and other less-significant differences throughout the full proposal.
This week, the House will not hold session or committee meetings in order to allow budget conferees to focus on reaching a compromise. It is unclear if the Senate will follow suit. It is possible the budget conference committee could complete negotiations on the budget this week. This would lead to votes on the budget conference report next week, with adjournment following shortly after.
County Launches ‘Paperless Purchasing’
In order to streamline the purchasing process for technology and fleet items, BSSA's Business and Financial Management (BFM) group recently launched an online quote and order system that is entirely paperless and fully automated.
MeckPurchasing is a new Web-based tool for ordering items that went live on June 18. It can be securely accessed using any device that has Internet access, including mobile devices.
MeckPurchasing allows designated County "requesters and purchasers" to browse an online catalog for pricing and quotes. For items not in the catalog, the requester can receive quotes.
The purchase request is then verified for approval to ensure funds are available, and the order is submitted to BSSA staff.
MeckPurchasing also improves quality control by using designated staff to request and purchase products, and all catalog items are verified in advance to ensure they meet current contract standards and have accurate pricing.
Requesters and approvers can also track the status of the order through delivery online.
If you have questions about MeckPurchasing, contact Rodney Harris, director of BFM, via email.
Interim OMB Director Named ‘40 Under 40’ by NCCU
Interim Budget Director Michael Bryant has been selected as a member of the second “40 Under 40” class by North Carolina Central University (NCCU).
Michael earned his master of public administration (MPA) degree from NCCU in 1999, and has been with Mecklenburg County’s Office of Management and Budget since January 2003.
NCCU’s 40 Under 40 Young Alumni Awards program recognizes young alumni who have made significant contributions in the arts, entertainment, healthcare, sciences, education, law, business, entrepreneurship, philanthropy, public service and government.
Honorees are selected by a committee of their peers, with support and assistance from university faculty and staff.
Michael will be honored along with his fellow 40 Under 40 classmates at an awards event on Sept. 12 at the Sheraton Imperial Hotel in Durham.