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Politics
Here are some of the other stories catching our attention.

Giant Committee To Hash Out Fine Details Of State Budget

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We’re now roughly halfway through the overtime period that North Carolina’s General Assembly gave itself to hash out the state’s budget. And while the Senate and House have yet to formally start negotiating, they have picked their teams. And this year’s conference committee is, well, huge.

Just how big? Nearly two-thirds of all lawmakers in Raleigh will officially have a seat at the table. Normally you might find a dozen or two lawmakers involved. This year, there are concerns there isn’t a conference room big enough to fit the 82 Representatives and 32 Senators as they negotiate.

There are other concerns as well – after all giant committees aren’t always known as being an efficient way to do anything let alone hash out the major differences between the House and Senate plans on education spending, teacher pay, tax incentives and the like.

Legislative leaders say this will make the process more inclusive and  not to worry, they’ll break the budgets into subjects and assign those to selected members, like improvised sub-committees to this conference committee. It’s almost like they just created a new chamber of government that will negotiate behind closed doors.