Raleigh, N.C. — A watch party for the World Cup soccer match between the U.S. and Germany was held inside the Legislative Building on Thursday, and the shouts of lobbyists and legislative staffers could sometimes be heard inside the House chamber, where lawmakers were plowing through a lengthy calendar.
House members unanimously approved a revised budget proposal, which focuses on raises for teachers and state employees, before sending it to the Senate. The two chambers have been deadlocked for weeks over differences in their full spending plans for 2014-15.
The House also passed a bill updated regulations on charter schools and added protections against discrimination in admissions and employment. On Tuesday, a similar attempt to add non-discrimination language led Rep. Paul Stam, R-Wake, to call pedophilia and bestiality "sexual orientations," prompting outrage from gay-rights groups.
In an omnibus bill that deals primarily with criminal penalties, Republican House members added a provision moving the State Bureau of Investigation from the Attorney General's Office to the Department of Public Safety. Although the shift is included in both the House and Senate budget proposals, lawmakers said they wanted to make sure it occurred even if no budget deal is reached.
Both the House and Senate gave final approval to a bill that allows an oil extract made from marijuana plants to be used to treat children who suffer debilitating seizures. No word from Gov. Pat McCrory if he will sign the bill.