Today@NCCapitol (June 21): Optimism, pessimism on budget

Posted June 21, 2016

This is a picture of the North Carolina flag, although it's a bit tattered.

— Good morning and welcome to Today@NCCapitol for Tuesday, June 21. Here's what's going on around the General Assembly:

BUDGET TALK: With 10 days left in the fiscal year, top lawmakers were talking Monday about the prospect of finishing the state's $22.225 billion budget plan.

"The process of the budget negotiations continue," House Speaker Tim Moore told members of the chamber Monday night.

Moore, R-Cleveland, added that members settling matters on behalf of subject-area subcommittees, such as public safety and education, had finished most of their work and that matters were in the hands of the so-called "big chairs." He estimated that lawmakers were "looking to try to have a budget done probably the end of next week."

Senate Budget Chairman Harry Brown, R-Onslow, offered a slightly more optimistic view, estimating that there were only "25 or so" issues left to resolve between the two chambers. The two biggest pieces left unresolved, he said, are decisions on salaries for teachers and state workers and a planned tax cut.

"It really depends on whether Speaker Moore and (Senate President Pro Tem Phil) Berger can sit down together some time," Brown said.

HOUSE FLOOR (1 p.m.): The House floor has mainly non-controversial bills on the calendar. Moore said he hoped the day's light schedule would allow budget negotiators to work.

SENATE FLOOR (2 p.m.): The Senate is dealing with several measures returning from the House, including a measure that would limit the overtime seasonal businesses pay their workers. WRAL.com plans to carry this session live online.

COMMITTEES: The General Assembly publishes a full committee calendar daily. Here's what we're watching:

Senate Local Government (Noon): The committee has multiple bills on the calendar, including a measure that would allow UNC Health Care to begin collecting debts through the garnishing of tax refunds and the like. WRAL.com plans to carry this session live online.

Senate Finance (1 p.m.): The committee takes up a bill to amend the state's environmental laws.

House Pensions (10 a.m.): Committee members will take up a bill that would allow former Peace Corps members buy credit in the state retirement system.


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