Republicans are close to finishing closed-door negotiations on the state budget -- but one sticking point is apparently a House provision earmarking economic development money for specific projects, or what some may call "pork spending."
The $20 million provision in question is tucked into the state commerce department budget for the One NC Fund, an pot of money used to entice companies to expand in North Carolina. The House wants to give $500,000 to Johnson and Wales University in Charlotte and another $500,000 to RTI, a nonprofit research firm in Research Triangle. Another $4.5 million is destined for the Rural Center's small business loan program. The other $14.5 million? It's House budget doesn't specify where it goes.
The provision doesn't appear in the Senate budget and the commerce department didn't ask for it, an agency spokesman Tim Crowley said.