Raleigh, N.C. — Good morning and welcome to Today @NCCapitol for Thursday, May 16. This is WRAL's roundup of what you need to know about North Carolina state government today.
BUDGET: The Senate will post its draft budget on the legislative website late Sunday, Sen. Pete Brunstetter said Thursday. There is no firm time set for the document's launch, but Brunstetter said it would likely be after 6 p.m. and staff members warned it could be late in the evening before it posted.
Brunstetter did not give many details about what is expected to be a roughly $20 billion spending plan other than to say it would not contain the guts of any tax reform effort. However, the senate Budget, he said, will anticipate spending $250 million less next year than would have been raised by the current revenue system in anticipation of tax reform pushing through before the end of the session.
Sponsor discusses House tax reform plan TAXES: As tax-cutting maven Grover Norquist appeared in Raleigh to back the Senate's tax reform efforts, the House released its own tax reform plan.
Although it is similar to the Senate plan in that it aims to reduce income and sales tax rates, the House plan moves more cautiously in that direction. In particular, it is much less aggressive in the expansion of the sales tax base. Where the Senate plan would tax more than 160 services, the House plan would limit sales tax expansion to services already associated with tangible consumer goods. For example, lawn mower repairs would be subject to sales tax but lawn mowing services would not.
Rep. David Lewis, R-Harnett, the bill's lead author, said the House plan would be put into a proposed committee substitute bill on Tuesday but was unlikely to be formally debated by the House Finance Committee until a week from Tuesday.
The Wrap @NCCapitol (May 16) CROSSOVER: The legislative crossover deadline for legislation that doesn't raise or spend money passed at midnight last night. Now lawmakers will engage in the time-honored tradition of finding ways to circumvent the rule requiring non-money bills pass one chamber or another by a certain point.
That said, the deadline has almost certainly winnowed the list of measure lawmakers will consider this year. including an effort to roll back local regulations on smoking. The list of crossover victims include bills dealing with everything from disputes over fishing to auto insurance and bible study in public schools.
For more on the crossover week, catch Thursday's edition of The Wrap @NCCapitol with Capitol Bureau Chief Laura Leslie and reporter Mark Binker.
TODAY'S CALENDAR: There are no legislative committee meetings or floor sessions today.
9 a.m. FRACKING (McSwain Ag Center, 2420 Tramway, Sanford): The Compulsory Pooling Study Group of the N.C. Mining and Energy Commission meets to make recommendations on when and how to compel property owners to allow drilling for natural gas under their land.
11 a.m. TALKING ( 9 Davis Drive, RTP): Both Senator Hagan and Gov. Pat McCrory are scheduled to speak at the grand opening of Syngenta's AdvancedCrop Lab.
1 p.m. MCCRORY (5th Floor Caswell Building, 200 W Jones, Raleigh): Gov. Pat speaks at Comm College office on "Furthering the Advanced Manufacturing Competency Model in N.C.