Legislative session ends; break will be brief
Posted June 18, 2011
Updated June 20, 2011
Raleigh, N.C. — The House adjourned just before 1 p.m. Saturday, ending the 2011 legislative session. The vote was not unanimous as might be expected. Rep. John Blust, R-Guilford, thought the lawmakers should stay in session until they passed a cap on the gas tax.
House Speaker Thom Tillis hammered the gavel, ending a five-month session in which GOP members flexed their muscles to shift state government and policy to the right — in classrooms and boardrooms, and from doctor's offices to gun controls.
Blust and his colleagues will have but a short break. A special session on redistricting is set to begin Wednesday, July 13.
The House considered the five bills on the agenda and added another dozen including the joint resolution to adjourn. The Senate had finished its work around 1 a.m.
"You do your best to keep up," said Rep. Winkie Wilkins, D-Person. "Sometimes the paperwork overwhelms you."
Among the key actions Saturday was a vote to require that all companies with more than 25 employees use the federal E-Verify systems to check the status of all new employees except seasonal and migrant workers.
The House also passed a bill that would allow areas that had been involuntarily annexed by a nearby community to vote to back out of the partnership.
Just two actions failed to pass on Saturday. The House did not concur with a Senate change to the hours for sale and consumption of alcoholic beverages. And the House voted down a transportation act because of a dispute over language that would limit whether wreck reports could be released to the public with the full identifying information of those involved.