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North Carolina Gov. McCrory passes rush of legislation as lawmakers prepare for budget

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RALEIGH, North Carolina — North Carolina Gov. Pat McCrory announced Thursday he signed a rush of 27 bills that had been passed by the General Assembly in recent weeks, as lawmakers attempted to clear their calendars ahead of planned budget negotiations.

The bills passed into law included two pieces of legislation that drew considerable debate in the legislature. One was a bill amending various gun statutes, and the other made changes to the death penalty process less open to public review.

McCrory held a signing ceremony Thursday for another bill that would automatically expunge records of arrests made because of mistaken identity, but the governor did not make statements on either the gun rules or death penalty legislation.

McCrory also did not answer questions from reporters during the signing ceremony and another event he attended Thursday.

Death penalty opponents fought against a bill allowing the state to expedite changing which drugs can be used in lethal injections without much public review.

The gun bill passed with bipartisan support in the legislature after Republican efforts to a remove the state's permit system were defeated.

Lawmakers took up dozens of mostly mundane pieces of legislation in the past month as they geared up to negotiate a compromise on an already overdue budget.

But debate on several substantive bills was postponed to this week while both Houses presented new measures dealing with important issues such as a bond package, sales tax changes and Medicaid reform.

The House and Senate likely will need to pass another continuing resolution to keep the state afloat past their self-imposed Aug. 14 deadline while legislators hammer out a final budget deal.

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