Legislative session ends; break will be brief

Posted June 18, 2011 8:09 a.m. EDT
Updated June 20, 2011 8:08 a.m. EDT

— 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 .

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.