Greetings From Raleigh 4-29-05
Most of the activity this week centered on the Senate's consideration of the budget and the lottery. The consensus is that the lottery will not pass the Senate floor on a stand alone vote, so the word is that the lottery will become part of the budget. Whether you are for or against the lottery, it is bad policy to put something of that magnitude into the budget without the opportunity for discussion or debate. It is questionable whether a budget containing a lottery will pass the House. The budget is also said to contain an increase in the tobacco tax (by 25 cents), an extension of the 1/2 cent sales tax, a possible phase out of the supplemental tax on the wealthiest North Carolinians, and a possible reduction in the corporate income tax. It still contains massive cuts to health and human services, but education seems to have been spared. The budget could be introduced as early as Monday.
As always, please stay in touch.