North Carolina state legislators have concluded most short-session action and are ready to leave Raleigh after a busy Thursday in the legislative building.

The House and Senate agreed on an adjournment resolution late Thursday to wrap up major legislative action. The adjournment begins on Friday with periodic reconvening throughout the rest of the year. 

The move indicates an end to the stalemate between the chambers over stalled budget negotiations. While each chamber passed its own version of budget adjustments during this short session, they had differing spending priorities.

In the waning hours of Thursday’s busy legislative day, lawmakers approved Senate Bill 357 which provides more than $67 million in childcare stabilization subsidies. It comes as the one-time COVID-era federal subsidies in the American Rescue Plan sunset. Lawmakers also passed Senate Bill 332, which authorizes teacher raises that were already planned in the 2023 state budget that the Republican-led legislature approved last year.

Left out of the last-minute budget changes were efforts to eliminate the nearly 55,000 family waiting list for the Opportunity Scholarships program, the state’s voucher program enabling families of to choose a private school education for their children, with the lowest income families receiving the most help. Both chambers had included $487 million to eliminate the waiting list in their respective budget adjustments this session.

Legislators’ reconvening schedule through the end of 2024 will go as follows: July 10 (skeletal session), July 29-Aug 1, Sept. 9-11, Oct. 9, Nov. 19-22, Dec. 11-13. Each return session would have activity limited to action on gubernatorial vetoes, appointments, conference reports, or elections, in addition to a final sine die adjournment.

Many bills were approved through both chambers of the General Assembly on Thursday as leaders anticipated negotiations on an adjournment resolution. As reported by the Carolina Journal, significant pieces of legislation passed include the non-citizen voting constitutional amendment that will officially be on the ballot this November, the Right to Try legislation, and overriding three of Gov. Cooper’s vetoes.