Raleigh, N.C. — Good morning and welcome to Today @NCCapitol for Monday, June 3. This is WRAL's roundup of what you need to know about North Carolina state government today.
TODAY'S CALENDAR: The state House and Senate are scheduled to meet at 7 p.m. tonight.
In the House, lawmakers are due to give final legislative approval to a bill that would clear the way for North Carolina to study the Red Route, a potential path for I-540 through Garner. State leaders say they don't want to build the road, but must study the route to satisfy federal regulators.
Senators will consider a bill that would rework the lease for the Dorothea Dix property between the state and the city. The measure has been reworked since it left the Senate, with House leaders and Gov. Pat McCrory saying it now represents more of a compromise. Senate President Pro Tempore Phil Berger, R-Rockingham, has expressed displeasure with the new deal. Senators will have the choice of approving the measure or sending the bill to a House-Senate conference committee, where another version could be worked out.
The House Ethics Committee is the only committee meeting on the legislative calendar today. It will consider two bills, including one that would allow individuals to trigger a committee investigation by submitting a sworn complaint against a lawmaker.
PROTESTS: The most visible item on today's agenda may be a planned protest at the legislature lead by the NAACP. In what some are calling "Mega Moral Monday," the civil rights group and other liberal organizations are planning to bring hundreds to the legislature to protest conservative fiscal and social policies put forward by the Republican-lead General Assembly.
This would be the fifth such demonstration since April and is believed to be the biggest of the series. More than 150 people have been arrested over the first four weeks of protests with more expected tonight.
OREGON INLET: Saying they are frustrated with frequent impassibility of Oregon Inlet, coastal businesses are cheering a plan to study the possibility of a state takeover of the mercurial waterway. A provision in the budget proposal approved last week by the state Senate calls for the creation of a task force to consider how ownership of the inlet and surrounding land could be transferred from the federal government to North Carolina.
HOLDING: Congressman George Holding went On the Record with David Crabtree this weekend.
OTHER NEWS THE WEEKEND: Other stories worth noting from the weekend included:
Associated Press: Relations between North Carolina's governor and the General Assembly have run hot and cold through the years, depending on personalities, politics and debated policies. So it's not surprising that new Gov. Pat McCrory and fellow Republican legislative leaders disagree at times, even after they predicted they would get along when GOP-controlled government arrived in 2013. Democrats had partisan dustups and budget battles when they controlled all levers of power, too. What's different now is the lines have often been drawn between the two chambers, with the governor on one side.
Charlotte Observer: Unemployment insurance payments to more than 70,000 North Carolinians are set to run out in four weeks, one result of an overhaul in North Carolina’s unemployment system that takes effect on June 30. Those affected include anyone receiving federal extended unemployment payments, or most people who started drawing benefits before January 1. The N.C. Employment Security Commission has begun notifying people through its website and over the phone when they file required weekly claims.
Asheville Citizen-Times: City Council has seven members, but on some issues two other people count most — and their offices are in Raleigh. State Reps. Tim Moffitt and Nathan Ramsey, both Buncombe Republicans, have sponsored more than 30 bills this year that would affect local governments’ powers and finances.
Wilmington Star News: With the legislature working at a breakneck speed to pass a spending plan in the billions and reform the tax code with potential widespread effects, more and more people — including several from Wilmington — are working to get out in front of the action before the General Assembly breaks in July.