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Sales Tax, Firearms, Ag Complaints: NC House, Senate Still At Work

Photo: A sylo at a farm in Swannaona, NC

North Carolina House and Senate leaders say they've finalized details for public school teacher pay raises and the state's budget, but lawmakers are rushing to tackle other issues ranging from sales taxes to farm pollution.

The Senate has already given its approval for the North Carolina Farm Act, and the House is giving it a closer look in its agriculture committee yesterday and its finance committee today.

Some Democrats are concerned that it would make private any complaint saying a company is violating agricultural law. The complaints would be public record only if they're found to be valid.

Also in the Senate, a vote expected today on a bill so wide ranging it covers guns, food and public records. Some senators say they're concerned it would allow courts to report less information to a national database of people not allowed to buy firearms. The Administrative Office of the Courts says court clerks don't have the ability to report everything required by current law.

The Senate has named Anna Spangler Nelson, who is an investment banker and educational philanthropist, to the UNC Board of Governors. Spangler is the daughter of former UNC System President C.D. Spangler. She takes the position of pharmaceutical entrepreneur Fred Eshelman, who resigned in June citing funding cuts to the UNC system.

And in the House,  representatives are scheduled to debate this morning a plan to cap sales taxes at 7.25 percent. Some urban counties, including Wake, say this will hurt them. The Senate approved the bill last week.

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