Raleigh, N.C. — Lawmakers frantically tried to tie up loose ends Friday so they could adjourn the 2016 legislative session by early Saturday.
The House gave final approval to the $22.34 billion state budget and sent that bill to Gov. Pat McCrory along with a budget corrections measure that would shift $500,000 to McCrory's office to pay for lawyers to defend House Bill 2.
An actual change to that controversial law that legislative leaders agreed upon after weeks of negotiations remained hung up in process late Friday. House Speaker Tim Moore said it would repeal a provision that eliminated the right of workers to sue for employment discrimination in state court. No other changes to House Bill 2 would be taken up, he said.
The mad dash to the finish line created some frayed nerves, and it spilled over with the House rejecting two bills backed by powerful senators – Senate Majority Leader Harry Brown and Senate Rules Committee Chairman Tom Apodaca.
Legislative leaders also said they didn't have time to tackle new voting maps for Wake County after the 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled Friday morning that maps lawmakers drew in 2013 and 2015 to overhaul the county Board of Education and the Board of Commissioners, respectively, violated equal representation guarantees in the U.S. and state constitutions. The impact of the ruling on the November elections for both boards remains unclear.