Today @NCCapitol (7/23): Dialogue but no deal

Posted July 23, 2014

This is a picture of a sign in the hallway of the legislative building.

— Good morning and welcome to Today @NCCapitol for Wednesday, July 23. Here's what's going on at the General Assembly and around state government. 

BUDGET DIALOGUE: For those inclined to look on the bright side, members of the House and Senate, along with Gov. Pat McCrory, were using words like "good dialogue," "constructive" and "compromise" to describe ongoing discussions over the budget Tuesday. 

For the glass half-empty crowd, there's still no deal, and lawmakers remain divided on key points. 

Sen. Harry Brown, R-Onslow, said senators and the governor discussed their differing positions on Medicaid cuts and funding for teacher pay raises and teaching assistants

"I think we gave the governor an opportunity to explain his position on certain things. We did the same to him," said Brown. "So, I think it was good dialogue, at least to hear his side of the story, I guess. And I think it was good for him as well to hear why our opinions on certain things were the way they were."

For their part, House members said Tuesday they were still working toward a deal, albeit slowly. But what if the Senate doesn't change its position on key items like Medicaid funding and paying for teaching assistants?

"We haven't decided where we'll go from here if we feel like we can't get anything worked out," Rep. Justin Burr, R-Stanly said. "We haven't really discussed it yet."

That said, despite rumblings about leaving for the year without a budget deal, nobody seems to be seriously considering that option – yet.

"We have no intention of going home before we get a budget," Senate President Pro Tem Phil Berger said.

THE CALENDAR: The House will hold a no-vote skeleton session and has no committee meetings scheduled. Meanwhile, in the Senate and elsewhere: 

Economic Investment Committee (9 a.m. | Department of Commerce): The Economic Investment Committee will hold a special meeting. It is likely connected to a jobs announcement by McCrory at 10 a.m. in Charlotte. 

Senate Rules (9 a.m. | 1027 LB): The committee once again is taking a look at the Senate's long-term Medicaid reform bill, which had been poised for a floor vote Tuesday. Other measures on the calendar include a package of criminal law changes and a bill authorizing the Department of Transportation to allow license plate scanners in state rights-of-way. 

Governor (10 a.m. | Charlotte Chamber of Commerce): McCrory is scheduled to appear at a "major economic development announcement." 

Senate session (Noon | Senate Floor): The Senate is poised to vote on a bill that includes sales tax changes for counties, as well as economic development changes. 

Fulghum memorial service (2 p.m. | Edenton St. United Methodist Church): Friends and fellow House members will say goodbye to Rep. Jim Fulghum, R-Wake, who died this weekend after a short battle with cancer. 

TAXES: The Senate Finance Committee on Tuesday approved a proposal to limit the power of four large North Carolina counties, including Wake County, to raise sales taxes. The measure, House Bill 1224, would make it easier for most counties in the state to raise sales taxes. Sponsor Sen. Rick Gunn, R-Alamance, said changes made Tuesday would allow local leaders more flexibility to raise sales taxes for whatever purpose voters approve For four counties, including Wake, the opposite is true. 

COMMON CORE: McCrory on Tuesday signed legislation designed to replace the controversial Common Core academic standards in North Carolina public schools with standards drawn up by a new state commission.

HEALTH: Legislation to protect health care workers sponsored by a North Carolina lawmaker who died last weekend has been signed into law.McCrory signed the bill sponsored by Fulghum on Tuesday.


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  • redsoxs39 Jul 23, 2014

    My wife has been a teacher for 19 years in North Carolina and has not received fair pay raise in a log time . but her responsibilities as a teacher keep growing every year and more students in class room having to get more certification every year. The way teachers as a whole are treated should be embarrassing to the elected officials of this State and all involved in this process. I ask you this when was the last pay raise for all of our elected officials in this state?? Stay in session and finalize a budget that is finally fair to the teachers of this state!!!!

  • Anita Woody Jul 23, 2014

    "No deal is a better than a bad deal" - GARY_TOO

    These yahoos have already caused a half-billion shortfall in just 1 year of this budget - it sure isn't going to fix itself. Increase spending, lose revenue - you run out of money. I guess it's rocket science for the party of fiscal responsibility.

  • Roy Pine Jul 23, 2014
    user avatar

    View quoted thread

    Maybe you've hit on the problem. When only Republicans can offer budget deals, they're ALL bad deals.

  • heelhawk Jul 23, 2014

    And this is what happens when the "Party of NO" goes head to head with the "Party of NO."

  • Gary_too Jul 23, 2014

    View quoted thread

    No deal is better than a bad deal.

  • SaveEnergyMan Jul 23, 2014

    "We have no intention of going home before we get a budget," -Berger

    And the people of NC deserve no less, under penalty of losing your legislative seat upon leaving Raleigh.

    I was lead to believe that having one party in power was suppose to SMOOTH things over and prevent squabbling. Another broken promise from this group, high expectations with low results. Of course, it's no better than the alternative of the left having control over one or both houses. Politics is destroying this country.