The North Carolina General Assembly got underway Wednesday and lawmakers say this will be one of the toughest years they can remember.
Lawmakers were sworn in just after noon time in Raleigh. No bills were on the table but this year the estimated budget shortfall is expected to be around 2 billion dollars.
Lawmakers say they plan to take a look at every program to see what is working and what is not.
Some of the major issues besides the budget expected to be addressed is a possible increase in the cigarette and alcohol tax. And education funding and the probation system.