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Art Pope key legislative ambassador but not subject to reporting rules

State Budget Director Art Pope is becoming a frequent face at the N.C. General Assembly, especially as spending and tax issue dominate the final weeks.

At Gov. Pat McCrory’s direction, Pope crafted a compromise tax scenario in June that combined House and Senate ideas and presented it to a few House lawmakers. He worked the legislative halls and attending meetings various other times. And he attended a Senate committee meeting June 30 when President Pro Tem Phil Berger debuted the latest bill to overhaul the tax code.

His actions raise questions about whether Pope should register as a McCrory administration legislative liaison.

Is the NRA a new state agency?

Is the National Rifle Association a new state agency?

A reference sheet recently sent to all state Senate offices listing contact information for all state agency legislative lobbyists includes the gun lobby group.

The NRA lobbyists -- Anthony Roulettte and Christopher Cox -- are listed between the National Guard of North Carolina and the Board of Occupational Therapy on the alphabetical sheet that includes the legislative liaisons for the governor's office, state auditor and other major state agencies. The NRA is the only nongovernmental special interest group on the list.

The sheet, sent from the legislative assistant director in February to all offices and obtained by Dome, is designed to serve as a quick lookup for all aides to senators.

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