Raleigh, N.C. — Good morning and welcome to Today @NCCapitol for Tuesday, July 22. Here's what's going on at the legislature and around state government.
THE BUDGET: The denizens of Jones Street may be forgiven for feeling like Vladimir and Estragon as they wait for a budget deal that shows no signs of showing up. There were rumblings Monday that House leaders may have been ready to make a counteroffer, but it never materialized – at least not in public.
THE HOUSE: Although negotiators on several big pieces of legislation may be at work this week, House members are not scheduled to hold committee hearings or a full floor session until Thursday. No votes are scheduled during Tuesday's 1 p.m. floor session.
THE SENATE: Senators continue to push toward wrapping up their work for the year but have slowed down their committee schedule considerably. Only the Senate Finance Committee will meet at 10 a.m. Tuesday to take up a much-talked about bill changing how counties can raise sales taxes through referendum, among other measures. WRAL.com plans to carry the Finance Committee live. Check the Video Central box on the homepage.
The Senate floor session will be held at 3 p.m. Senators are due to vote on a package of long-term Medicaid reforms today. WRAL.com plans to carry the Senate floor session live. Check the Video Central box on the homepage.
THE GOVERNOR: Gov. Pat McCrory is scheduled to make an economic development announcement at 3 p.m. at the Charlotte Chamber of Commerce.
TAXES: Senate leaders on Monday rolled out a modified version of a bill restricting the use of local sales tax. The new version of House Bill 1224 would still cap local sales taxes at 2.5 percent, but it deletes a proposal to force counties to choose between funding education or transit through additional taxes.
JUDGE: A new District Court judge appointed by McCrory on Monday was reprimanded for professional misconduct more than a decade ago by the North Carolina State Bar. Michael A. Stone of Raeford was appointed to a state judicial seat in Hoke County. McCrory spokesman Rick Martinez says the governor knew about Stone's reprimand before naming him as a judge but didn't think one past mistake should disqualify him from consideration.
NC commissioner: Some homeowner insurance rates 'very much a problem' INSURANCE: Most people think they already pay too much for homeowner's insurance, but what if the bill suddenly jumped 33 percent or even 70 percent? Many people are getting letters saying if they don’t agree to such increases, their coverage will be canceled. The letters from insurance companies are going out to hundreds of thousands of people across the state. The state insurance commissioner calls this a problem.
Many of the people 5 on Your Side heard from got what's called a "consent to rate" letter and said they feel bullied. State law allows insurers to charge up to 250 percent above the maximum rate set by North Carolina Insurance Commissioner Wayne Goodwin. “Things that are done to force – directly or indirectly – the public to bypass that cap is very frustrating, very much a problem,” he said.
MEDICAID: McCrory urged local health officials in Greensboro to oppose the Senate's proposal to overhaul Medicaid, the News & Record reported Monday.