Raleigh, N.C. — With the Senate one vote away from approving the state budget and House votes on the $22.34 billion spending plan set for Thursday and Friday, lawmakers are eyeing the exit, saying they want to wrap up the 2016 legislative session by Saturday.
That means the pace is picking up at the General Assembly, and proposals are popping up left and right to beat the weekend deadline.
A new coal ash bill, for example, to replace one that Gov. Pat McCrory vetoed wouldn't revive the Coal Ash Management Commission that the governor disbanded and would allow Duke Energy to leave toxic ash in pits at seven sites instead of excavating it if the utility meets certain conditions.
The House added a provision to a bill calling for drinking water at schools to be tested for lead that would require licensing and inspections of "water recreation attractions," such as the U.S. National Whitewater Center in Charlotte, where an Ohio teen contracted a fatal amoebic infection.
Outside of the Legislative Building, Sen. Fletcher Hartsell, R-Cabarrus, was indicted by a Wake County grand jury on three felony counts of filing false campaign finance reports. The indictment alleges that, from 2010 to 2013, Hartsell used campaign donations to pay for upkeep and maintenance of his property as well as other goods and services through his law firm and personal credit cards.