Raleigh, N.C. — Lawmakers worked hard Thursday morning and afternoon to clear the decks as much as possible of non-budget legislation, including passage of measures on moped registrations, marijuana oil as treatment for some childhood illnesses and criminalizing the theft of Venus flytraps.
One major speed bump on their way out of Raleigh is Medicaid. The House and Senate have markedly different proposals on how to handle the health insurance program for the poor and disabled. The House's plan is closer to one proposed by Gov. Pat McCrory, calling for doctor-led groups to oversee care, although House lawmakers agree with their Senate counterparts in calling for cost control.
Another point of disagreement is the effort to replace the Common Core academic standards in public schools. The Senate is open to considering elements of Common Core as new standards are developed, while the House wants the national program off the table in drawing up a replacement. A House committee was supposed to review the Senate plan Thursday but instead passed the House version again as a committee substitute, angering Sen. Jerry Tillman, R-Randolph.