Raleigh, N.C. — Good morning and welcome to Today @NCCapitol for Friday June 20.
BREATHER: After a week that saw the House especially put the pedal to the metal, the General Assembly is off Friday. There are no legislative committee meetings or floor sessions. Gov. Pat McCrory has not distributed a public schedule.
Lawmakers return to work under bright spotlight Lawmakers working through their priorities STATE OF PLAY: Top lawmakers had targeted the end of next week as when they would leave town, but the House and Senate have yet to come to terms on a number of pieces of legislation they have said were high priorities coming into this session.
Disagreements over how much money the state's Medicaid system for the poor and disabled will need over the coming year and how to reform the system long-term continue to snarl budget negotiations.
"We need to reach some understanding on the Medicaid number before we can realistically start talking about most of the other things (in the budget)," Senate President Pro Tem Phil Berger said Thursday after a meeting that reviewed budget differences between the two chambers.
House, Senate remain at odds over Common Core That understanding is still some ways off, and is not the only one. Lawmakers are also divided on education funding, both in terms of how to give public school teachers raises and how to pay for those raises.
Policy issues continue to divide the two chambers as well.
The House Education Committee slapped down the Senate's proposal to change the state's educational standards Thursday.
Both chambers want to look at North Carolina's participation in Common Core, a set of nationally developed standards favored by governors and business leaders. The House wants to do away with Common Core entirely, while senators would allow a commission that reviews standards to consider the Common Core along with other material.
Also left on lawmakers' plates are bill that would dictate how Duke Energy would clean up coal ash ponds around the state – that measure has yet to leave the state Senate for review in the House – a bill dealing with grants to the film industry that many lawmakers say would be critical to keeping the industry and a spate of regulatory reform measures.
Regulatory reform has become a catch-all for any number of measures favored by industries. While one bill rolling back some environmental regulations passed the state House Thursday, a separate bill that is a hodgepodge of regulatory measures was so controversial among House Republicans it was pulled back from the House floor and sent for further review in committee.
NEXT WEEK: Both the state House and Senate plan to work Monday night. The House Finance Committee announced it would take up a "time-sensitive, five-day bill" during a committee meeting Monday afternoon. "Five-day bills" are so named for the minimum amount of time it takes to get bills that increase fees or taxes through the General Assembly.
Keep in mind that June 27 was the date pegged for the end of the legislative session in an adjournment resolution filed earlier this year. That resolution won't be binding until both chambers pass it, and given the amount of work left on lawmakers' plates, it seems almost certain to drift.