@NCCapitol

@NCCapitol

Today@NCCapitol (April 27): The long, hard budget slog begins

Posted April 27

Legislative Building

— Good morning and welcome to Today@NCCapitol for Wednesday, April 27. Here's what's going on at the legislature and around the state:

BUDGET: Gov. Pat McCrory's staff is due to brief lawmakers on the governor's 2016-17 budget proposal. McCrory has given reporters an outline of his proposed spending bill but has not yet released his full budget bill. Wednesday will be the first look at the document.

REFERENDUM: Sen. Tom Apodaca, R-Henderson, floated an idea to put the controversial House Bill 2 to a voter referendum of some kind. He confirmed late Tuesday that, "We're looking into it."

Apodaca told WRAL News that the constant attention the bill has received in news reports and ongoing controversy sparked the idea. "Let the voters settle it," he said.

It's unclear how such a referendum might work. Initially, he said, legislative lawyers suggested some sort of constitutional amendment, but he added that there was "nothing definite."

ICYMI HOUSE BILL 2: Although there were no large-scale protests related to House Bill 2, dozens of rabbis from across the state did speak out against the measure. Meanwhile, state Sen. Buck Newton, R-Wilson, explained what he meant when he urged a rally on Monday to "keep our state straight."

HOUSE SESSION: The House meets at 9 a.m. No votes are scheduled.

SENATE SESSION: The Senate meets at 2 p.m. Members are scheduled to consider a trio of bills making tax changes and updating the state's unemployment law. They will also take up appointments to the state Utilities Commission, Industrial Commission, Board of Agriculture and state controller.

HEALTH PLAN: The State Health Plan's Board of Trustees is scheduled to meet at 1 p.m. and take up potential changes to coverage for state employees, starting in 2017. When the plan considered changes earlier this year, state employees objected. The changes on the table Wednesday are less sweeping.

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