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Today @NCCapitol (7/10): Getting lumps of coal in their stockings

Posted July 10, 2014

NC Flag, Legislative Building, Raleigh

— Good morning and welcome to Today @NCCapitol for Thursday, July 10. Here's what's going on at the legislature and around state government.

Christmas Decor at the NCGA Lottery deal struck, but budget progress remains elusive JINGLE BELLS: Wednesday's House-Senate budget negotiations did not get off to the most promising start as members of the Senate team walked out as House members began to take testimony from superintendents and teachers about the importance of teaching assistants. Sen. Harry Brown, R-Onslow, the chamber's lead budget writer, said House members were violating the rules of the conference committee by bringing in the outside testimony without notice.

Senators came back into the room an hour later, after which both sides told the other they weren't making real concessions, and each side postured about being in Raleigh until it was time for eggnog and carols.

"I don't know whether we should draw names for Christmas ... but it looks like we're heading that way," Sen. Tom Apodaca, R-Henderson, said. 

During a break in their negotiations, Gov. Pat McCrory said he was disappointed with the Senate for walking out, taking up for the House's position on education funding. 

By the time lawmakers had returned for the afternoon negotiating session, a few clever souls had hung Christmas decorations, but the House offered a key concession on lottery funding. House members said they would no longer insist on counting on a boost in lottery revenue in the budget. The previous day, senators had offered to drop their insistence on a proposal that would tie teacher raises to abandoning career status, or tenure, rights. 

Negotiations were expected to continue Thursday, although no open conference committees had been noticed as of 6:30 a.m. 

SCHEDULE: The state House is scheduled to meet for a no-vote skeleton session at 11 a.m. The state Senate is scheduled to meet at 2 p.m. Two major bills are on the Senate calendar, including a conference agreement on rewriting the state's academic standards to replace Common Core and whether to agree with the House version of a bill to regulate coal ash throughout the state

At 9 a.m., McCrory is scheduled to hold a signing ceremony at the North Carolina National Guard's headquarters for legislation that clarifies how military service and training should count toward civilian licensing.

In Winston-Salem, final arguments were expected at a hearing over whether extensive changes to North Carolina's voting laws will be put on hold until after the November election.

MEANWHILE, IN THE SENATE RACE: Despite a challenge from Republican Thom Tillis to meet in a series of at least 10 debates across the state this fall, Democratic U.S. Sen. Kay Hagan's campaign said Wednesday that she would debate Tillis no more than three times before the November election.

TWEETS: Twitter forces users to pare down their thoughts into 140 or fewer characters, but state lawmakers say social media helps them open up the legislative process, parsing complex policy and legislation into accessible posts that inform voters and start conversations.

RETIRING: The chief judge of North Carolina's Court of Appeals for more than a decade is stepping down in a few weeks. Judge John Martin told court staff by email of his decision to retire Aug. 1. Martin sent a retirement letter Tuesday to McCrory. The retirement means there will be a November election for his seat.

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  • Terry Watts Jul 10, 2014

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    Quote of the week (year???)

  • Forthe Newssite Jul 10, 2014

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    good one!

  • jurydoc Jul 10, 2014

    Meanwhile the community college system is trying to enroll students for fall term that begins in a month but can't charge students because the GA hasn't agreed on the per credit hour tuition rate. These delays have REAL CONSEQUENCES. They are not philosophical and hypothetical!!

  • Forthe Newssite Jul 10, 2014

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    Could NOT agree more. Get rid of the lot of them and start fresh. My pets could do a better job and act better than these jokers. Way to go guys making NC look and BE backwards.

  • Super Hans Jul 10, 2014

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    hear, hear!

  • debbieholder2 Jul 10, 2014

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    He was in the meeting as a House member. The Senate walked out while the House was presiding. Later the Senate passed out the coal.

  • Ernest Borgnine Jul 10, 2014

    NC politicians get lumps of coal. NC citizens get ponds of coal ash.

    That about sums it up man.

  • easternNCborn Jul 10, 2014

    Like many people following the actions of our legislature and governor, I am disgusted by what I'm seeing. However, while people closer to Raleigh see the immature, disrespectful behavior of Senators Apodaca, Rucho, Brown, and many others, what power do we have to get them out of office? Much of this state does not have thorough newspaper or television coverage of what is occurring in the legislature unless they are concerned enough to follow WRAL or other sources based in the triangle. Back in their home areas, these men are thumping their chests and bragging about how they're big men in Raleigh (remember Bill Rabon, who is number five in the power chain) and how they have worked wonders. I'm sure many of their constituents would be horrified and embarrassed to see how someone representing their area truly acts in what should be an honored position.

  • recontwice Jul 10, 2014

    Wheres tillis in all this?Not going to do or say anything while campaigning!

  • 42_wral_mods_suck_i'm_gone Jul 10, 2014

    How fitting since they LOVE Duke coal ash.

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