BUDGET ON THE FAST TRACK

Paul Fogleman,

In this political environment there are a number of reasons why lawmakers in the North Carolina General Assembly are ready to leave Raleigh. Bills involving less control over gun sales, environmental proposals to loosen protection for rivers and streams, pay increases for only some teachers and state employees…all have prompted a grumpy response from a lot of voters.

This week longtime observers in the General Assembly, including lobbyists, are hearing that leaders have set an adjournment date of June 30…or before. They are told that budget subcommittee conferees must have their recommendations for the top chairs by early next week. Two days later, the drafts go to the corners offices—Senate President Phil Berger and House Speaker Tim Moore who will have the final say. A floor vote in the full House and Senate would be on the calendar somewhere around June 20.

That background noise in the Legislative building could be the rehearsal for the fat lady who sings when the clock stops and the adjournment gavel comes down.

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