RALEIGH — Democratic Gov. Roy Cooper finally sat down with Republican legislative leaders Wednesday, June 19, less than two weeks before the end of the fiscal year, to negotiate a budget.

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RALEIGH — The Senate’s proposed biennial General Fund budget includes the largest pay raises for state employees in more than a decade, but doesn’t include a cost-of-living increase for state retirees.

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RALEIGH — The state’s tax-supported managed care agencies for mental health are a mess.

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Although the North Carolina House has approved its version of a biennial budget, there’s a lot that North Carolinians can’t yet know about how much will be spent, and on what, over the next two years. But here’s something we can assume with near-certainty: Gov. Roy Cooper will veto it.

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RALEIGH — The House proposed budget lowers some taxes, creates others, and cuts against the grain of past Republican efforts to prioritize savings reserves as a rainy day buttress to economic downturns and natural disasters.

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RALEIGH — A group of House Republicans is taking another whack at what they call an alternative to Medicaid expansion so uninsured North Carolina residents can obtain health coverage.

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RALEIGH — Once again teachers will descend on the state capital to call for more public school funding, Medicaid expansion, and a $15 minimum wage for all school workers.

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RALEIGH — The state Department of Health and Human Services improperly paid more than $100 million in Medicaid claims during fiscal year 2018, State Auditor Beth Wood reported.

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RALEIGH — Top-ranking senators have introduced an omnibus health-care bill that would add severely disabled people to the Medicaid rolls and abolish restrictive certificate of need laws.

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Health care costs too much. Are we agreed? Great. Perhaps now we can discuss the more interesting question of what policymakers should do about the problem.

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