Raleigh, N.C. — State lawmakers left Raleigh two weeks ago, but the political news keeps churning along through the supposed "off season."
Gov. Pat McCrory signed legislation Monday setting rules for access to police body camera and dashboard camera video and signed the $22.3 billion state budget on Thursday. He said he doesn't expect to have to veto any of the 30 bills remaining on his desk before the July 31 deadline to sign or veto them.
In between, McCrory canceled Progress North Carolina's contract to hold a "Garden Party Against Hate" at the Executive Mansion, saying the liberal group misled his staffers about the nature of the event. So, the group held its protest across the street instead.
Sen. Tom Apodaca, R-Henderson, the influential chairman of the Senate Rules Committee, resigned his seat on Friday, allowing him to fit the mandatory six-month "cooling off" period into his schedule in case he wants to start lobbying lawmakers when they return to town next January.
Crews began preparing for a major overhaul of the Legislative Building, which will include replacing the roof and asbestos removal from the third floor. The work is expected to be completed in time for the 2017 legislative session.
That work would make any special session for overriding a veto or adjusting Wake County voting maps difficult. The fall elections for school board and Board of Commissioners remain in flux as county officials and lawmakers try to respond to a federal court ruling declaring maps drawn by lawmakers to be unconstitutional.
Also hanging over the fall elections, a Superior Court judge has set a Sept. 26 trial for a challenge to changes in state elections laws. A ruling could come before early voting starts in late October.
Speaking of elections, second-quarter campaign finance filings show Democratic Attorney General Roy Cooper continues to out-raise McCrory in the gubernatorial race.