Two questions are on the minds of Jones Street watchers: When will they go home? And, will there be a new budget before they leave?
Republican Sen. Tom Apodaca, chairman of the Senate Rules committee, is making predictions. Whether its political posturing or reality remains to be seen.
On going home: It could be mid-July, it could be the end of July, or we could get mad and go home week after next. I dont know.
On the budget: We are not there yet, we are trying to work this out. ... If we dont get a budget well go home and well be back in January.
Apodacas comments come the day after Gov. Pat McCrory said he had asked budget director Art Pope to direct state agencies on what to expect if there was no budget deal.
Apodaca said lawmakers could go home leaving their current budget in place but would probably have to put a few things in something similar to a continuing resolution.
The mini-budget would include teacher pay and state employee raises, he said, though smaller than what the Senate originall proposed.
Earlier in the day, Apodaca moved a couple of bills to a Senate calendar to Saturday. For those looking for clues, he said if lawmakers go through with Saturday session, its a good sign that progress is being made.