On Friday, September 18, 2015, North Carolina Governor McCrory signed the 2015 State budget that retains the North Carolina Human Relations Commission (HRC) and leaves in place the State Fair Housing Act for the coming year. These provisions had been in doubt since June, when the state Senate had passed a budget bill that would have eliminated the HRC and repealed the state’s fair housing law.
While the final state budget does retain the HRC, it places it in the “Continuation Review Program,” which is “intended to assist the General Assembly in determining whether to continue, reduce, or eliminate funding for the funds, agencies, divisions, and programs subject to continuation review.”
Under the final budget, the state legislature has only authorized one year of funding to the HRC, rather than the typical two-year appropriation provided to most state agencies. As such, the legislature will have to vote again in 2016 to continue funding the HRC beyond this one-year extension.