Budget negotiations continued behind closed doors this week, with Speaker Tim Moore and the President Pro Tempore of the Senate, Senator Phil Berger, working to resolve the final differences between the two chambers’ spending plans.  Tax and pay issues are still in play, but the leaders have said publicly that they intend to reach a compromise by Monday.  Once the conference report on the budget is released and voted on, legislators typically try to wrap up other business quickly and adjourn.

In that spirit, the Senate is holding rare Friday committee meetings and session in order to get as many policy issues out of the way before adjournment – which many are hoping will be before the July 4th holiday.

Among the issues being considered this week:

Amending Environmental Laws (HB593)

This bill makes a variety of changes to environmental laws, including amending stormwater and stream mitigation requirements, revising the landfill permitting statute, and changes to beach re-nourishment processes.  The bill also includes a provision enabling public records access requirements to be satisfied by making records available online.  The bill passed the Senate this week and now goes to the House for concurrence.

Body Cameras (HB972)

The House gave initial approval on Thursday to a bill that would require law enforcement agencies to release video recordings made with body cameras when a person shown or heard in the video requests a copy.  Efforts to change the bill to make such video more accessible without approval of local law enforcement were defeated.

Wind Farms (HB763)

A plan to prohibit wind energy projects in certain areas as determined by a map that depicts military training paths passed on the Senate this week.  The bill now sits in the House Rules committee.

NC-SC Border (SB575)

Governor Pat McCrory signed this bill into law Wednesday that will resolve a border dispute with South Carolina. Among other things, the law addresses issues such as taxes and education related to people whose state residency is changed by the border adjustment.