By Patrick Woodie
Connect with Patrick on Twitter @patrickwoodie
We have a close eye on the N.C. General Assembly, as we expect both chambers to begin debate this week on a compromise budget bill. The short session may still adjourn by the July 4th holiday weekend.
Throughout this short session, we've worked hard to provide you with up-to-date analysis on the budget negotiations, particularly within the context of our advocacy agenda, Rural Counts: 10 Strategies for Rural North Carolina's Future.
As we wait for legislators to hammer out the final details, we want to share with you a compendium of the bills we have been tracking this session. Legislators have been prolific in bill introductions and legislative action. Two weeks ago (June 13-16), the House and Senate took action on 283 bills. Last week (June 20-24), the two houses acted on a total of 317 bills. The Senate, in a rare Friday session, acted on 52 bills. In a surprising move, Senate leaders also on Friday unveiled a single bill containing three proposed constitutional amendments. If approved by three-fifths majorities of both chambers, the three amendments would appear on the November ballot.
Of particular interest to rural communites, the Senate gave unanimous approval to S 481, which expands crowdfunding in North Carolina for small businesses and entrepreneurs. Both chambers gave final approval to legislation addressing the growing opioid/heroin epidemic, and Gov. Pat McCrory signed that bill into law.
Click here for a spreadsheet of all the bills we've been monitoring.