Raleigh, N.C. — 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.
"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.