A lot of eyes are on the North Carolina General Assembly as the Senate and House gear for their showdown on vastly different budgets.

The eyes range from entrepreneurs running startups to those at the top of the state’s largest life science companies, from people looking for jobs to executives looking at possible expanding in North Carolina.

So will North Carolina gain a new venture capital fund?

Will the budget of the North Carolina Biotechnology Center be slashed to zero?

Will crowdfunding ever pass?

What will happen in terms of economic incentives?

Bottom line: Who will fight for what to get passage?

In search of answers, WTW talked with WRAL Capitol reporter Mark Binker.

The House wants venture fund; Senate doesn’t . Do you see a chance at this being passed since Gov. Pat McCrory also wants it?

House had a form of the venture fund in their budget and yes, this is absolutely something that the governor wants. Does it make the final budget? Hard to say at this point. My “School House Rock” sort of answer is they’ll negotiate.

If the House goes to bat for it, it’ll make the final cut.

But do they want it badly enough to give up something else?

I just don’t know.

Will crowdfunding have to wait until the budget debate is settled or might it and other non-budget bills still be passed as debate continues over dollars?

Correct. Crowd funding hasn’t made it into any version of the budget. It continues to live in a weird space where everyone says it’s a fine idea, something they really ought to do…but it’s still not done.

Any reading of the tea leaves on the Biotech Center?

Can’t say. The question is whether the House feels strongly or not. If nobody on the House side much cares, then it’s something they might give up just to speed things along.

If they see it as something worth fighting over, well, they’ll fight over it.

Based on your reporting it does appear some sort of economic development package will pass since it’s on everybody’s agenda, correct? But who has the most weight in getting a deal done?

I think the Senate would argue their tax changes are part of economic development. And there are some econ development items in both versions of the budget. What I’d expect is some of that to be contained in the budget, and some to run as a separate bill.

But lawmakers are just at the beginning of what’s expected to be a kind of sticky set of negotiations, so that’s all subject to change….especially the longer things take to get resolved.

Read Binker’s full budget update at: