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North Carolina Legislative Week in Review
The General Assembly reconvened for the first time in nine months on Wednesday, May 12th to begin their budget adjustment session, also known as the “Short Session.” Democrats, who control both chambers, said fixing the budget to reflect lower revenue numbers while protecting public education and encouraging small business job growth were among their top priorities. Budget writers estimate between $800 million and $1 billion in additional revenues or spending cuts are needed to balance the budget for the new fiscal year starting July 1.
Both the House and the Senate plan for the Short Session to be over quickly to get members back to their districts. Senate budget writers met on Friday, a rare move, to unveil portions of their budget. Early drafts of the Senate budget include deep cuts to plug revenue gaps, with the deepest coming in the Department of Health and Human Services. All Senate sub-committees are expected to meet Monday to vote on their proposals which will be consolidated into a $19 billion spending plan that is expected to be voted on by the full Senate next week and sent to the House.
Four new lawmakers were seated Wednesday.
Rep. Chris Heagarty (D-Wake) was appointed to replace Rep. Ty Harrell, who resigned amid a campaign finance investigation.
Rep. John May (D-Franklin) was appointed to replace Rep. Lucy Allen after she was nominated by Governor Beverly Perdue to the North Carolina Utilities Commission.
Rep. Diane Parfitt, (D-Cumberland) was appointed to replace Rep. Margaret Dickson, who was appointed to the NC Senate, replacing Senate Majority Leader Tony Rand, who resigned to take over the State Parole Commission.
Sen. Michael Walters (D-Robeson) was appointed to replace Sen. David Weinstein who resigned to become the director of the Governor’s Highway Safety Program.
2010 House/Senate Deadlines
- Bills recommended by study commissions must be filed by Wednesday, May 19.
- Bills affecting the 2010-2011 budget must be filed by Tuesday, May 25.
- Local bills and bills affecting state or local pensions or retirement systems must be filed by Wednesday, May 26.
- Appointments, Constitutional amendments, resolutions honoring deceased persons, resolutions authorizing other bills, bills disapproving of administrative rules and adjournment resolutions are eligible to be filed in 2010 but have no filing deadline.