Monday, May 5, 2008

Monday Quick Hits: Hot Policy Topics for This Week

North Carolina:

This is going to be a short week at the General Assembly. Tuesday is Primary Day here in North Carolina and our legislators are on the road shaking hands and rallying voters to vote on Tuesday.

Polls across our state will open at 6:30 a.m. on Tuesday, May 6th. We also encourage you to get out and vote.

This is also the last week before short session begins again. The last few meetings we expect to see committees finalize their proposals and get ready for what is rumored to be a fast session.

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

10 a.m. The Joint Appropriations Health and Human Services Subcommittee meets, 643 LOB.
We expect this committee to begin to receive funding request from the Mental Health, Developmental Disabilities, Substance Abuse Services Joint Legislative Oversight Committee. The full proposal from this committee is now available on line.  

MH/DD/SA LOC Report 2008

Thursday, May 8, 2008

10 a.m. The Joint Legislative Program Evaluation Oversight Committee meets, 1027 LB.
This is the zero budgeting committee that has been reviewing legislative programs and the relative need for funding them.

1 p.m. The Joint Legislative Education Oversight Committee meets, 421 LOB.
This committee will also be finalizing their previous proposals prior to session.

Friday, May 9, 2008

9:30 a.m. The Lottery Oversight Committee meets, 421 LOB.

A very hot topic in our state is the lottery. How the money is used and how the lottery is funded is a topic of interest to many in the legislature. The lottery is not all it was billed to be for our state and will probably end up on the General Election stump speech circuit.



Today the House of Representatives is expected to vote on an extension of the Higher Education Act until May 31. The Senate passed the extension (S. 2929) on April 29the day before the current extension expired. This will give House and Senate negotiators more time to come to agreement on the overhaul of the Higher Education Act which includes several new provisions benefiting students with disabilities.

Emergency War Supplemental Funding

Congressional leaders may finalize strategies on emergency war spending. This bill may well be the only appropriations bill to pass this year. Priority non-defense spending increases are likely to be added in the House and Senate. The Medicaid regulations moratorium bill is another likely candidate to be added to the war spending bill. President Bush has threatened to veto the war spending bill if it contains non-war related spending.


Medicaid Moratorium Bill
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) attempted to put the Medicaid Moratorium bill on a fast track by bypassing committee consideration. That tactic failed when Senator Tom Coburn (R-OK) objected. The next step for the bill is unclear. One possible alternative is the passage of a cloture petition to proceed. Another option is to add the bill to another “must pass” bill, such as the Emergency War Spending bill.

(Thanks again to DPC for the information)

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