Raleigh, N.C. — Good morning and welcome to Today@NCCapitol for Tuesday, July 14. Here's what's going on at the General Assembly and around North Carolina government.
WHILE YOU WERE OUT: Lawmakers took a week-long vacation last week after approving a 45-day continuing resolution. As they return to work this week, it's unclear how much, if any, progress has been made on a deal. House Speaker Tim Moore told reporters Monday that he believed there had been "sidebar" conversations on the budget, but neither chamber has appointed conferees yet, and it's unclear when negotiations between the two chambers will begin in earnest.
IN COURT: In Winston-Salem, the federal lawsuit dealing with North Carolina's 2013 election law got underway Monday. A coalition of liberal groups is challenging provisions in the measure that eliminate same-day registration, change the early voting period and make other changes they claim make it harder for likely-to-be-disenfranchised people to vote. That trail is expected to continue for up to another four weeks.
THE GOVERNOR: Gov. Pat McCrory plans to use the Wake County Courthouse as a backdrop to sign an executive order creating a new task force on mental health and substance abuse. McCrory has pushed for the return of drug treatment courts and has made fighting substance abuse a priority during his term.
AT THE LEGISLATURE: The General Assembly publishes a full legislative calendar daily. Here's what we'll be watching Tuesday:
CONTRACTS: The Senate State and Local Government Committee will meet at noon to review a bill that would allow some counties to issue sole-source contracts for food purchases.
MISCLASSIFICATION: The House Judiciary II Committee takes up a bill aimed at preventing employers from wrongly classifying workers as independent contractors. Committee Chairman Rep. Chuck McGrady, R-Henderson, said the panel would not take a vote on the measure but would vet some of the finer points of the proposal. WRAL.com will carry this meeting live online at 1 p.m. Check the Video Central box on the homepage.
SENATE: The state Senate meets at 2 p.m. and is scheduled to take up measures dealing with the regulation of political signs along public roads and clarifications to the Map Act, which allows the state Department of Transportation to designate highway corridors.
HOUSE: The House is scheduled to take a final vote on a bill that increases the penalties on amusement machine operators who circumvent safety devices. WRAL.com plans to carry this meeting live online at 2 p.m. Check the Video Central box on the homepage.