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Rights Being Fought In Local North Carolina Legislation. 2005-08-04
Democrats struggled on Tuesday to settle the disputes over pay raises, cigarette taxes, and lottery fees, so they can close a budget deal for North Carolina�s state government. House and Senate Democrats, who hold a majority in the legislature, met privately for the past three days in caucus meetings with the House Speaker Jim Black and Senate leader Marc Basnight.
Black, D-Mecklenburg said he thinks things are looking to go in a positive direction. Leaders want to have their final $17 billion spending blueprint for this year this week. The new fiscal year began July 1st without any plan ready.
Lawmakers have approved two temporary spending measures and pushed negotiations so things can be settled already. The second measure is set to expire this Friday. The pressure is on.
It has been very difficult, Basnight, D-Dare was said to comment. He told senators that it would be, but it could be achieved. Negotiations are still going on; hopefully soon they will smooth over the rougher edges.
Negotiations continue to have problems with cigarette tax increase and pay raises for state employees and teachers. This is a touchy issue for the Democrats in both chambers. The lottery is also a sticky issue.
The House and Senate are in a state of battle with details that the legislators will approve. It is just as problematic as the other issues on the table. At the moment they still have one more day to work it out finally.
(By Andrea)