Friday, July 07, 2006

Greetings From Raleigh 7-7-06

Although this week was shortened because of the long July 4th holiday weekend, we were extremely busy on Wednesday and Thursday in numerous committee meetings and lengthy sessions. We gave final approval to an $18.9 billion state budget, which now must be signed by the Governor, and passed bills on topics such as establishing a new lottery oversight committee, lobbying reform, requiring passengers to wear seatbelts in the back seat, eye exams for kindergarteners, mental health reforms, and sex offender registrations.

On Wednesday, House Speaker Jim Black said he’s hopeful the General Assembly can adjourn by the end of next week if legislators can complete work on the remaining bills. Adjournment likely will depend on how quickly the Senate finishes its work on a minimum wage increase, numerous campaign finance, lobbying and ethics reforms, eminent domain restrictions, and several other bills that have passed the House. The House worked late on Thursday to wrap up several bills and plans to start back early on Monday. The Senate is holding another rare Friday session today and will have more work to complete next week.

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