Greetings From Raleigh 5-03-05
We have breaking news from the legislature today which you all might find of interest.
Senate Democrats appear to have come to a consensus on a state budget bill that will include a lottery, increase the tax on cigarettes by 35 cents a pack, and add more spending for schools and health care needs, with the added revenue generated by the tobacco tax.
As predicted in last week's newsletter and post, the proposed budget bill also reduces the corporate income tax rate from 6.9 percent to 6.4 percent and the temporary income tax surcharge on the wealthy will be eliminated.
Senate Appropriations will consider the bill this afternoon. After that, it will go to Senate Finance and from there to the Senate floor, for a vote possibly later this week.
We have also just received word that the Department of Justice has okayed the procedure which the legislature adopted earlier this year which would settle contested elections. This clears the way for the General Assembly to decide on the school superintendent's race between June Atkinson and Bill Fletcher.
As always, please be in touch on matters of concern to you.