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Tuesday Wrap: Budget shortcut

Republican legislative leaders are acting like characters in the classic movie "The Treasure of the Sierra Madre" when it comes to the state budget: Amendments? We don't need no stinkin' amendments.

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RALEIGH, N.C. — Republican legislative leaders are acting like characters in the classic movie "The Treasure of the Sierra Madre" when it comes to the state budget: Amendments? We don't need no stinkin' amendments.

The GOP plans to roll out changes to the two-year budget as a conference report, gutting an insurance-related bill that has already cleared both the House and the Senate and inserting the budget language. The resulting conference report would face up-or-down votes in each chamber without any amendments allowed in committee or on the floor.

Democrats, needless to say, are peeved by what they say is a less-than-democratic maneuver.

Elsewhere in the Legislative Building on Tuesday, Rep. Marcia Morey, D-Durham, rolled out her proposal for a "red flag" law that would allow authorities to temporarily take guns from people deemed to be a threat to themselves or others. That idea got the same reception among gun rights advocates as the budget conference report got among Democrats.

Also, advocates for low-income workers called for an increase to the minimum wage, an idea that has gone nowhere in years.

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