Today@NCCapitol (May 21): House to debate $22.1B budget

Posted May 21, 2015

NC Legislative Building

— Good morning and welcome to Today @NCCapitol for Thursday, May 21. Here's what's going on at the General Assembly and around state government.

HOUSE: Members of the state House will debate their $22.1 billion state budget package after briefly considering pushing forward with the measure Wednesday.

State budget Final House budget tune-up tweaks renewable energy, venture fund provisions During a 3 p.m. session, during which Miss North Carolina spoke to the chamber, House Speaker Tim Moore announced lawmakers would take up the budget at 6:30 p.m. When the appointed time came, that plan had changed.

House Rules Committee Chairman David Lewis, R-Harnett, explained that Democratic members had asked for time with the legislature's nonpartisan staff in order to review the document and draft amendments. Democrats came up with 40 potential changes they may offer.

That, Lewis said, did not leave the state or members of the Republican majority enough time to prepare for session. Combined with lack of sleep from a busy week and "The Growler," one of the biggest social events of the legislative year, House leaders called off the planned debate.

UPDATE: The House was supposed to debate the budget bill at 10 a.m. Thursday, but the bill was pulled off the calendar and returned to the Rules Committee for a noon meeting to make some last-minute adjustments.

The House is expected to reconvene at 3 p.m. to take up the budget, but caucuses and the time needed to reassemble the document could delay that further. WRAL.com plans to carry the session live online. Check the Video Central box on the homepage.

Some had speculated that the delay might have something to do with a lack of support from Republicans for the spending plan. Indeed, at least a few members of the conservative tea party wing of the GOP have said they won't back the plan. But Lewis expressed confidence Wednesday night that the votes would be there to pass the bill.

"The overwhelming majority of our caucus will vote for it," he said.

SENATE: The state Senate meets at noon. Among the bills on the calendar is this year's version of the Possum Drop bill.

GOVERNOR: Gov. Pat McCrory will sign the Jim Fulghum Teen Skin Cancer Prevention Act, which bans the use of tanning beds by those under 18, during an 11:15 a.m. ceremony at the Executive Mansion.


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