State budget deal will not include casinos, video lottery terminals

North Carolina’s top lawmakers announced a budget deal Tuesday evening. Medicaid expansion will be included in the budget and votes will take place later this week.
Published: Sep. 19, 2023 at 7:41 PM EDT
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WILMINGTON, N.C. (WRAL) - North Carolina lawmakers have reached a budget agreement — and it does not include casinos or video lottery terminals.

An impasse over whether to expand gambling in the state by allowing casinos off tribal lands and legalize video lottery terminals has stalled the budget process despite having GOP supermajorities in both chambers.

The $30-billion budget includes pay raises for state workers and teachers, tax cuts, millions in spending projects and the implementation of Medicaid expansion, which would deliver health insurance to hundreds of thousands lower-income North Carolinians.

“My belief the emotion got the better of the discussion and it was just time for us to get the other things taken care of,” said Senate leader Phil Berger, R-Rockingham, and a chief driver of the casino proposal.

The House and Senate plan to vote Thursday and Friday on the budget. Berger and House Speaker Tim Moore said Tuesday night that they expect it to pass with all Republicans and some Democrats.

You can read the full story at WRAL here.