Raleigh, N.C. — The House Appropriations Committee slogged through dozens of proposed amendments to the chamber's $22.1 billion state budget bill well into Tuesday evening after taking a fast break in the afternoon to join the Senate in honoring Duke University's NCAA champion men's basketball team.
Many of the amendments were small-bore ideas, but Democratic lawmakers expressed some alarm that the budget appears to hand the reins of the Medicaid program over to the state Department of Health and Human Services.
While the House was preoccupied with the budget, a Senate committee passed a bill that included an amendment to freeze the state requirement on how much energy utilities must produce from renewable sources.
Meanwhile, gun-rights backers lobbied lawmakers to bring an omnibus firearms bill to a House floor vote. The bill has twice been put on hold in recent weeks amid mounting opposition from sheriffs, medical groups and others.
Economic developers also lobbied lawmakers Tuesday, pushing for an extension and expansion of the Job Development Investment Grant program to recruit businesses to the state.