Senate

Ildar Sagdejev / https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/1.0/deed.en

The future of driver’s education is still unclear as state lawmakers continue to haggle over a budget. Senate leaders want to stop funding the program and possibly do away with requiring it for 16 and 17 year-olds to get a license. Many assume driver's ed turns out safer drivers, but research shows that’s not necessarily true. 

North Carolina General Assembly

Hoping it will help jump start negotiations on North Carolina’s budget, state senators are offering major concessions to the House. But they want something in return. 

For weeks now senior budget writers from both the House and Senate have been talking, just not about the numbers in their budgets.

"We have had discussion on the economic development proposals and the Medicaid proposals," said Senate President Pro-Tem Phil Berger.

  "I think we are....," Berger then took a long pause before finishing,"closer than we have ever been in getting those things worked out."

Jonathan Cox / C

Senator-elect Thom Tillis got right to the point Wednesday, after defeating incumbent US Sen. Kay Hagan (D-North Carolina) by a narrow margin of 1.68 percentage points Tuesday: He wants to repeal the Affordable Care Act, approve the Keystone XL Pipeline and act on other Republican issues that had been stalled in the Democrat-led Senate. 

The past few days have testified to the old political saying: there are two things you never want to watch being made — sausage and laws. 

And in the attempts to pass a readjusted state budget for the fiscal year that began July 1, the North Carolina General Assembly has also played into another old saying: Actions speak louder than words.

In trying to resolve their fundamental differences on the $21 billion state budget, the state House and Senate formed what is often referred to as the “third chamber” of legislatures: A conference committee.

Government & Heritage Library, State Library of NC / Flickr/https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/

Teenagers and their families may have to shell out more for driver's education courses if a Senate plan to cut funding for that program goes through. 


Lisa Worf / WFAE

Groups that want to open charter schools in North Carolina are reviewed by a board largely consisting of people who operate charters. That board was put in place to weed out the bad applications from the good. But it has been taking some heat lately. Some lawmakers think it may be doing too zealous a job partly because it only recommended a few charters this year. 

Lisa Miller / WFAE

Mecklenburg County commissioners are weighing whether to give CMS employees a raise out of the county’s pocket be that by paying the district an extra $26.7 million or asking voters to approve a quarter cent sales tax. A few hundred teachers showed up to a public hearing last night to make their case. 

USAirways.com

The merger of US Airways and American Airlines could have a greater impact than those airlines have previously stated, both on airline prices and on Charlotte’s status as a hub for US Airways traffic, according to a new government analysis of the merger.


Republicans in the North Carolina Senate have proposed a $20.6 billion budget for next year.  That’s essentially the same size as Governor Pat McCrory’s proposal. Spending in major categories would be mostly flat except for health and human services and natural and economic resources.  However, Medicaid spending would grow 11 percent compared to this year. 

The Senate’s Plan For Education

When introducing students to the idea of “politics,” I often use the idea of a “game”: think of politics with players, rules, teams, fields to play on, equipment, goals, strategies and objectives.

Most politicians describe their involvement in “game-like” ways as well. And sometimes their actions fit into game descriptors, and in that vein, a recent move by the Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell could be called a serious “air ball.”