Today @NCCapitol (7/29): Don't jinx it
Posted July 29, 2014
Raleigh, N.C. — Good morning and welcome to Today @NCCapitol for Tuesday, July 29. Here's what's going on at the legislature and around state government.
CROSS YOUR FINGERS: After announcing a deal on a budget "framework" over the weekend, House and Senate leaders were still working Monday to iron out details of a $21.1 billion budget, now nearly a month overdue.
Advocates wary of scarce budget details Although a few aspects of the plan are clear enough – teachers will get a raise of 7 percent on average – several other aspect of the plan, such as what kind of raise state workers will see, are not yet public.
Lead Senate budget writer Sen. Harry Brown, R-Onslow, said he expected the final deal to be worked out Tuesday, with the first opportunity for a Senate vote likely to come Thursday. Brown and others working on the budget were circumspect Monday about giving away too many details before a final deal is done.
Senate President Pro Tem Phil Berger did say some sort of "reform" would be attached to the teacher salary plan but did not elaborate.
Berger and House Speaker Thom Tillis were expected to discuss the compromise spending plan at a 1:30 p.m. news conference.
"The Arc of North Carolina continues to be concerned over any proposed Medicaid eligibility reductions that will negatively affect people with disabilities in our state," said Julia Adams, assistant director of government relations for the group, which represents people with disabilities. She was reacting to reports that $135 million in Medicaid cuts may require some changes to eligibility.
DON'T LET THE DOOR HIT YA: With a budget near completion, gossip around the legislative building turned to when lawmakers might finish their work for the year.
Sen. Tom Apodaca, R-Henderson, chaired Monday night's Senate session and, after introducing the pages for the week, said, "I hope they have a great week as we shut down."
Clearly, the hope in both the House and the Senate is to depart on Friday, but lawmakers were circumspect about the prospect without a final budget in hand.
"I might be here on Saturday, or I might be fishing," said House Rules Chairman Rep. Tim Moore, R-Cleveland.
THE CALENDAR: The House will hold a no-vote skeleton floor session Tuesday. Other meetings on the legislative calendar include:
Senate Rules (9 a.m. | 1027 LB): The committee will take up the technical corrections bill passed by the House last week.
Senate Select Committee on UNC Board of Governors (10 a.m. | 1027 LB): Senators will begin filling a vacancy on the Board of Governors.
State Board of Elections (10 a.m. | 441 N. Harrington St., Raleigh): The State Board of Elections holds a meeting to make the results of the second primary official and handle other matters.
House Democrats (11:30 a.m. | News conference room): House Minority Leader Larry Hall is scheduled to talk about the pending budget deal.
House Agriculture (1 p.m. | 643 LOB): The committee will review an omnibus farm bill that environmental advocates say could lead to cover-ups of problem farming practices. The bill itself is a compromise worked out between the House and Senate. The House will only be able to decide whether to accept or reject the measure, not change it.
Senate session (2 p.m. | Senate floor): Senate leaders are scheduled to vote on the same omnibus farm bill under review by the House committee.
MARRIAGE: Following a federal appeals court ruling Monday that Virginia's same-sex marriage ban is unconstitutional, North Carolina Attorney General Roy Cooper said his office would no longer oppose challenges to the state's constitutional amendment outlawing same-sex marriage.
WALKING: A North Carolina mayor fighting for the hospital that closed in his rural North Carolina town finished his two-week protest march to the nation's capital, where he told a crowd that his community's problems are part of a larger health care struggle.