Capitol Commentary April 26, 2011

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Capitol Commentary April 26, 2011

  1. 1.            Capitol   Commentary   419B Legislative Office Building Raleigh, NC 27603-5925 (919) 715-3009 (919) 715-3009 ruths@ncleg.net April 26, 2011 Legislative Update Raleigh, NC        With the rapid pace of progress during this legislative session, my biweekly Capitol Commentary just didn't seem frequent enough to keep you well-informed about the important work your elected representatives are doing in Raleigh. So this week, I'm launching Raleigh Roundup a quick summary of the recent legislative news. You'll still get my analysis and opinion every other week in Capitol Commentary, but in the off weeks, I hope you'll find that Raleigh Roundup helps you stay up-to-date.  Raleigh Roundup from Ruth Samuelson Last week in Raleigh: Governor Perdue vetoed a bill that would have extended jobless benefits to 37,000 long-term unemployed North Carolinians. She objected to a provision in the bill that would keep state government running after July 1 if we do not agree to a budget compromise by then. The goal was to protect the timeliness of payments for both the employed and unemployed in North Carolina.   House leaders worked toward a compromise for reforming the state employee's health insurance plan that we hope will make it past the Governor. Although the first version bill, which had the backing of the State Employees Association, was very similar to the reform that the Governor suggested in her own budget, she vetoed it because it included a small monthly premium for the first time. Our goal is to put the health insurance plan on more solid fiscal footing and protect it from political influence.   A bill that would limit campaign contributions by vendors with government contracts began making its way through House committees. The aim is to rein in the corrupt "pay-to-play" practice of awarding government contracts to big donors. It has bipartisan support.   The House and Senate voted to temporarily lift the ban on plastic grocery bags along the  
  2. 2. NC coast, because the tornadoes that hit the state on April 16 led to a paper grocery bag shortage. And this week: The budget plans were wrapped up in all the appropriations subcommittees and will be rolled into a single budget by Wednesday. That budget will then be open to the public over the weekend for analysis. This is the first time it has been open more than a couple of hours in the 4 years I have been here!  Best wishes, Ruth Samuelson, Majority Whip NC House of Representatives, District 104 Mecklenburg County http://www.ruthsamuelson.com       

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