NC lawmakers convene short session with much to talk about

NC lawmakers convene short session with much to talk about

RALEIGH, NC (WBTV) - The North Carolina General Assembly will convene its short session Monday night with much on their plate.

Lawmakers are expected to be in town through late June or early July as they discuss changes to the budget passed last year and address the host of issues facing North Carolina.

One thing lawmakers will likely not talk about: HB2, the controversial 'bathroom bill' passed in a special session earlier this year that repealed Charlotte's ordinance gr anting transgender residents from using the bathroom of their choice.

RELATED: Protests and petitions in Raleigh, but will HB2 be changed?

But beyond bathrooms, lawmakers have other pressing issues.

Governor Pat McCrory, running for a second term this year, has traveled the state in recent weeks unveiling various budget proposals he hopes the legislature will take up while they're in town.

Included in McCrory's new proposals is a pay raise for teachers that would bring the average teacher pay up to $50,000 a year. That target was endorsed by the Senate's top republican, Senate Pro Tem Phil Berger, in a pre-session press conference last week.

At least two Charlotte-area lawmakers have announced plans to file legislation to stop the I-77 toll lane project.

Last week, Rep. Charles Jeter (R-Mecklenburg) unveiled an advanced copy of a bill that would require the North Carolina Department of Transportation to cancel its contract with Cintra.

On Monday, Rep. Tricia Cotham (D-Mecklenburg), from Matthews, introduced her own bill aimed at stopping toll roads.

Cotham's bill, like Jeter's, would require the department to cancel its contract with Cintra but specifies that any damages stemming from the cancellation would have to be paid with NCDOT funds.

At his press conference last week, Berger also said he expected the legislature to continue reforming the state's tax code, likely by increasing the standard deduction for taxpayers as opposed to lowering the tax rate itself.

As lawmakers begin their work Monday, they'll do so among a crowd of protesters.

WBTV reporters saw protesters across the state government complex on Monday, including in front of the legislature and the Capitol building. Most of the protesters were rallying against HB2 but an eight-foot joint was also seen in the crowd advocating for the legalization of marijuana.

Stay with WBTV on-line and on air for continued team coverage of the start of the General Assembly's short session.

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