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It's not over yet: House in recess until 9 a.m.

After a good night's sleep, Speaker of the House Thom Tillis started Friday's session just after midnight.

But instead of finishing the calendar in the wee hours, Tillis said the House would reconvene at 9 a.m. on Friday. The session will take about two hours, he said. The House passed the Charlotte Airport bill, Senate Bill 380, in a 67-40 vote early Friday morning before going into recess.

Drug testing bill, regulatory reform bill denied concurrence

Lawmakers asked the House not to concur on two big bills Monday so the sponsors could work out issues. With session days dwindling down, and a budget left to debate, it’ll be tough to work out remaining differences and get these two complicated pieces of legislation passed.

A wide-spanning regulatory reform bill’s sponsor, Rep. Timothy Moffitt of Asheville, a Republican, asked the House not to concur because the bill came back from the Senate with measures from two other regulatory bills incorporated into it. Segments deregulating the billboard industry, and affecting environmental issues, the living wage, city ordinances and more are now under the 60-provision bill’s umbrella.

House committee approves abortion risk taught in classrooms

Representatives approved a Senate bill Tuesday in the House Health and Human Services Committee that would require students be taught preventable causes of preterm birth, including induced abortion, smoking and alcohol consumption.

Before SB 132 passed in a 13-7 vote, some representatives disputed its factual accuracy. Main sponsor Sen. Warren Daniel, a Republican from Burke County, said the bill was built with a solid backing from studies and two medical experts from the University of North Carolina, physicians Dr. John Thorp and Dr. Martin McCaffrey.

Organizations such as the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists and the American Public Health Association don’t recognize abortion as a cause of preterm birth, Rep. Jean Farmer-Butterfield, a Democrat from Wilson County, pointed out.

House GOP chooses leaders

The state House GOP caucus on Saturday, meeting in High Point, chose its leaders for the coming session.

Rep. Paul "Skip" Stam of Apex was promoted from majority leader to speaker pro tem. This will be his seventh term.The previous pro tem, Rep. Dale Folwell, left office to run unsuccessfully for lieutenant governor. The pro tem steps in to run sessions when the speaker is absent. Speaker Thom Tillis of Cornelius was re-elected to the post last month.

Rep. Edgar Starnes, from Caldwell County, was chosen Majority Leader. Starnes has been in the House since 1993.

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