Raleigh, N.C. — Good morning and welcome to Today @NCCapitol for Wednesday, July 9. Here's what's going on at the legislature and around state government today.
NO VOTES ON THE SCHEDULE: Both the House and Senate have scheduled themselves for no-vote sessions today. The House is scheduled to quickly meet at 9 a.m. as part of a week-long series of skeleton sessions. Senate leaders have left open the possibility to taking up votes this week, but cleared their floor calendar for today's 2 p.m., postponing most items until Thursday.
THE GOVERNOR: Gov. Pat McCrory will be in Durham this morning for what is listed as "bioMérieux Groundbreaking & Sepsis Awareness Event" on his scheduled. At 1 p.m., he is scheduled to meet with his education cabinet at Estey Hall on Shaw University's campus.
Little progress as budget fight drags on THE LT. GOVERNOR: Lt. Gov. Dan Forest is scheduled to chair a meeting of the state's Energy Policy Council, although the public notice from his office does not specify a time.
BUDGET: Senior lawmakers negotiating a budget compromise met for a little less than an hour Tuesday, but the House and Senate appeared to remain deeply divided over what the state's $21.1 billion spending plan should look like. Senators did say they were willing to uncouple teacher raises from the elimination of career status, or tenure rights, and would leave the state crime lab under the supervision of Attorney General Roy Cooper, both nods to the House budget. But on major spending items surrounding Medicaid and teacher raises, there appeared to be little progress since last week.
The budget conferees are scheduled to meet again in the open at 10 a.m. Wednesday morning. WRAL.com will carry that meeting live. Check the Video Central box on our home page.
SOLAR: The North Carolina Utilities Commission has started its process of setting solar energy rates for the next two years. It's a complex process involving weeks of hearings conducted like legal proceedings, with thousands of pages of filings and a football team's worth of lawyers representing utilities, environmental groups, business groups, solar industry members and associations – and even Google, which buys solar power for its facility in the state.
FILM: As lawmakers debate how, or even whether, the state will continue to offer incentives to movie and television productions to film in North Carolina, the man who has headed the state's efforts to recruit the industry over the past seven years is set to leave his post. Aaron Syrett's pending departure comes as the North Carolina Film Office and the state Commerce Department prepare to make a big transition and less than six months before North Carolina's film incentive program is set to expire. The film office is one of several Commerce Department divisions set to transfer to a new nonprofit that will handle much of the marketing and job-recruitment work for the state.