Wednesday Wrap: Budget Kumbaya

Posted May 18, 2016

— The initial House vote on its budget proposal was a landslide 103-12, followed by a standing ovation.

Some Democrats complained that the budget didn't go far enough, but most still supported it. Few proposed amendments caused extensive debate, although one backed by the Wake County delegation puts on hold restructuring efforts in the state Department of Transportation that could cost jobs in Raleigh.

After a final House vote Thursday, the Senate will begin working on its budget, and one point of contention between the two chambers is already in view. Senate leaders say they want to increase the standard deduction on state income tax returns faster than the plan in the House budget.

Before the House budget debate, a committee approved a measure that would allow judges to consider a combat veteran's post-traumatic stress disorder as a mitigating factor in criminal sentencing.

Outside of the Legislative Building, state environmental regulators said that all of Duke Energy's coal ash pits across the state need to be dug up by the end of 2024 and the ash moved to lined landfills. But Secretary of Environmental Quality Donald van der Vaart said he would like lawmakers to review the agency's plans within 18 months to determine if any changes are needed.


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