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Today@NCCapitol (May 20): Timing on budget hazy

Posted May 20, 2015

NC Flag, Legislative Building, Raleigh

— Good morning and welcome to Today @NCCapitol for Wednesday, May 20. Here's what's going on around the General Assembly.

HOUSE BUDGET: Members of the House Appropriations Committee wrapped up work on more than 100 amendments to the state budget plan Tuesday after 9:30 p.m.

While the path forward for the $22.1 billion spending plan is clear, the timing is a bit hazy.

A 9 a.m. Pensions and Retirement Committee has been pushed back to 11 a.m. Wednesday. After that, House leaders expect to have a Rules Committee meeting to make some changes to the budget bill described as "technical." House Speaker Tim Moore said Tuesday afternoon that the Rules Committee may have to make tweaks to ensure changes made during lengthy Finance Committee and Appropriations Committee meetings all work together.

What's unclear is whether chamber leaders will stick with a plan to hold the first floor vote on the measure by mid-afternoon Wednesday.

"The big question in terms of being able to move forward on the floor is the logistics of getting everything put together," Senior Appropriations Chairman Nelson Dollar, R-Wake, said Tuesday night.

In particular, incorporating the dozens of amendments passed by his committee Tuesday and making sure they all fit together will be a challenge for the legislature's staff.

That means it's possible the first floor vote could move to Thursday, Dollar said.

Fellow budget Chairman Chuck McGrady, R-Henderson, said late Tuesday he believed a Thursday vote was more likely than not.

HOUSE SESSION: The state House is scheduled to meet at 10 a.m. No bills are on the calendar.

SENATE FINANCE: The Senate Finance Committee takes up a bill that contains controversial provisions that would govern how much renewable energy power companies must buy.

SENATE SESSION: The state Senate is scheduled to meet at 2 p.m. The bills on the calendar appear to be largely noncontroversial, including one that would appoint Daniel J. Zeller of Rockingham County to the state Ethics Commission to serve out the term of Civitas Institute Director Francis DeLuca, who recently resigned.

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