Thursday Wrap: Whither budget?

Posted June 15

— As the General Assembly continued to play the budget waiting game, lawmakers moved on with other business Thursday.

House Speaker Tim Moore said he hopes to have the 2017-18 budget compromise ready either Friday or Saturday so lawmakers could hold their two required votes on Monday and Tuesday. Senate President Pro Tem Phil Berger wasn't as aggressive on the timeline, however, suggesting votes could be held later in the week.

Tax cuts appear to be the main sticking points in negotiations between House and Senate budget writers.

The new budget year begins July 1.

Meanwhile, the Senate gave final approval to a measure that would require environmental regulators to allow landfills to spray liquids over their dumps so the water can evaporate. Opponents worry that chemicals in the spray will drift over nearby properties instead of falling back onto the landfill as backers claim.

The Senate also took time to honor former WRAL News reporter Mark Binker, who died unexpectedly in April.

A Senate committee passed a proposal that essentially dumps the state's existing system for providing mental health care shortly after the Medicaid program completes its shift to a managed care program. The bill has a lot of opposition, and House leaders say they will likely defeat it.

In the House, a regulatory reform omnibus was approved, and a House committee passed some proposed changes to the state's economic development incentives program.


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