Raleigh, N.C. — The mass shooting at a Charleston, S.C., church on Wednesday night cast a pall over Thursday's proceedings at the North Carolina General Assembly.
Moments of silence were held on the floors of both the House and the Senate, and lawmakers noted that one of the victims was the sister of former state Sen. Malcolm Graham, who served from 2005 until he gave up his seat last year in an unsuccessful run for Congress.
Business did carry on, however, with the Senate giving final approval to its $21.5 billion budget proposal for 2015-16 and the House passing several measures, including a compromise on a Sunday hunting bill that would carve out part of the morning for church services as a no-hunting period.
Both chambers also passed a rewrite of an elections law bill that emerged without warning from a conference committee. A provision in the new bill, which is on its way to Gov. Pat McCrory, would allow someone who doesn't have and cannot get photo identification an opportunity to cast a ballot next when when the state's voter ID law goes into effect. The person would fill out an affidavit stating the reason why he or she couldn't get an ID and present information such as a utility bill, the last four digits of his or her Social Security number and his or her birth date to establish identity.