By Matthew Burns
Raleigh, N.C. — The days are getting longer and tempers are getting shorter as the General Assembly lurches toward its Thursday crossover deadline.
The House and the Senate plowed through a combined 64 bills in floor debates that lasted past 10 p.m. Tuesday, trying to ensure as much legislation as possible clears one chamber before the deadline, allowing those bills to remain alive for the rest of the two-year legislative session.
Rep. Darren Jackson, D-Wake, repeatedly objected to House Speaker Tim Moore’s attempts to add bills to the calendar, but the Republican majority went ahead and added them anyway.
“The members deserve to be able to read the bills and talk with their constituents about them,” Jackson said.
Following are some of the measures that beat the clock:
Class size fix: House Bill 13 cleared the House weeks ago and wasn’t subject to the crossover deadline, but it has been a hot issue among teachers and parents desperate to know whether schools would have to cut art, music and physical education teachers to accommodate demands for lower class sizes in kindergarten through third grade.
The 2016-17 state budget put hard caps on class sizes in those grades, starting in the 2017-18 school year, as lawmakers said they had been paying districts for years to hire more teachers to lower class sizes.