Raleigh, N.C. — On a day that saw the first legislative movement of the session and the latest redistricting reform effort, the day's headlines were dominated by questions of U.S. Thom Tillis' personal hygiene.
Speaking at a Washington, D.C., gathering, Tillis answered a question about his support for deregulation by saying he wouldn't object to abandoning the requirement that restaurant employees wash their hands after going to the bathroom. He said market forces would determine whether the restaurant then remained in business.
On the redistricting front, a bipartisan group of lawmakers is pushing to create an independent commission to take over the responsibility of drawing congressional and legislative voting districts every 10 years. Previous efforts have failed for more than 20 years, and Senate leaders said this plan likely won't succeed either.
The Senate Appropriations Committee passed a bill that cleans up a few funding snags from last year, including giving money to the Coal Ash Management Commission, and also demands that the Department of Public Instruction set aside money to pay the state's expense to defend a lawsuit filed by the State Board of Education. The board sued the state and the Rules Review Commission in November, arguing that the board's powers under the state constitution should exempt its policy decisions from administrative review.