Thursdays are usually busy days for lawmakers in Raleigh. It’s the day they wrap up their work for the week and head back to their districts. Today, though, the legislature will be very quiet.
Oh, you’ll still hear the sound of a gavel bring the House and Senate to order. But not much more than that. The reason? Well, there are two.
The first is the General Assembly’s desire to wrap this session up. Last week, Senator Tom Apodaca told his colleagues all committee business must be done by today. House Speaker Tim Moore was not as direct but has said today would be a no vote session because there just wasn’t much more for committees to do.
This end to committees means legislators can focus on what does remain, the budget. And get to work on the very thorny issues that need to be resolved between the House and Senate plans on spending tax dollars.
But that work won't begin immediately and this leads us to reason number two for today’s skeletal session, American Legislative Exchange Council, better known as ALEC.
ALEC is a non-profit coalition of lawmakers and businesses known as a clearinghouse for pro-business, socially conservative and anti-tax legislation. They are currently holding their national conference in San Diego. At least nine state representatives will be attending, including Speaker Moore. The Senate says they don’t know how many state senators will be attending.