Raleigh, N.C. — Budget negotiators appear "irrationally optimistic" about a final spending plan being reached sooner than later, with an agreement in place on teacher pay. But raises for state employees and a few other points of disagreement remain.
On the Senate floor, a bill to reinstate restrictions to keep registered sex offenders away from playgrounds and other areas frequented by children received initial approval, while a regulatory reform bill was sent back to committee. Senators also passed a bill named for Sen. Tom Apodaca's beloved bulldog, which died last fall, that gives cities and counties statewide permission to give retired police dogs and horses to their handlers.
One House committee approved a proposal to exclude police body camera and dashboard camera video from state public records laws, while a second committee debated legislation that would get around step therapy to give patients a way to get newer drug treatments faster.