Raleigh, N.C. — Good morning and welcome to Today @NCCapitol for Friday, July 26. This is an abbreviated edition of WRAL's daily roundup of legislative action.
The state Senate adjourned for the year just before 2 a.m. Senators left town without taking up a bill that would reorganize the Commerce Department into a public-private partnership. The same bill would have lifted North Carolina's current ban on drilling for natural gas through fracking, a measure that proved too controversial to pass in the closing hours of session.
In addition to sending the governor bills on voter ID and abortion, lawmakers approved measures delaying the implementation of Jordan Lake pollution restrictions for another three years, forcing the city of Durham to annex the 751 South development, and creating a new managing authority for the Charlotte airport (despite a court restraining order). All three votes were finalized in the early hours of Friday morning.
The state House will return to session at 9 a.m. to finish its work for the year. Today's House calendar includes nine bills, including a regulatory reform omnibus that would also relax rules for trash trucks and landfills, make it harder for local governments to enact environmental ordinances, and fire the entire Environmental Management Commission. A controversial proposal to relax wetland protections could also emerge from committee Friday morning.
Once its calendar is completed, the General Assembly will adjourn until May 14. In the interim, study committees, and oversight committees will meet, but will not have the ability to draft laws or exercise legislative powers.
Once lawmakers leave town, Gov. Pat McCrory will have 30 days to sign or veto any bill that's on his desk. After that point, bills would become law without his signature.
WRAL and @NCCapitol will resume coverage of the legislature in the morning. Please look for updates throughout the day.