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Legislature to adjourn next week

The legislature will be adjourning Wednesday or Thursday of next week, said Thom Tillis, the Speaker of the House, “barring an unlikely surprise.”

The House will most likely reach an agreement on its budget sometime Friday, he said. The first vote on it will be Tuesday.

A skeleton session will be held Sunday at 2 p.m., and the House will meet earlier than usual on Monday evening. Tillis said he hopes to get as many bills through as possible in the coming week, because the next session won’t start until May 2014.

Tillis' game of finders keepers

Here’s a little more about House Speaker Thom Tillis’ thinking on budget cuts this year. Tillis, a Republican from Mecklenburg County, spoke with reporters Tuesday morning, and said a nearly $106 million budget surplus puts the state in a better financial position than it was two years ago when the Republicans took over the legislature.

But no matter how big the surplus, Tillis said he would expect state agencies to keep looking for ways to save money. Until now, he said, there hasn't been any incentive to do that.

As a result. He’s come up with a little game.

“What I’m trying to tell every agency in this state that I’ve met with, we’re going to play a game of finders keepers,” Tillis said. “If these agencies come forward with recommendations to run more efficiently, we’re going to find a way to let them keep those efficiencies and put them into strategic projects: repairs and renovations, whatever they want to.

“However, if we have to work to find the efficiencies, they’re probably not going to keep them. … If we are the ones who ultimately have to find it, then we can no longer trust that leader to find these things in his or her agency.”

Tillis floats virtual interim committee meetings idea

House Speaker Thom Tillis said Wednesday he wants to allow legislators to participate in committee meetings that are held when the General Assembly is not in session without being present. Plans are being worked up to allow members to join meetings, and even cast votes, from secure remote sites, he said.

That will require a change in the rules, which Tillis said he wants to see adopted as soon as possible, sometime after the session begins in January. He said it would be beneficial for some oversight committee meetings that are held when the legislature is  not in session.

Updated.

Lawmaker who wants a state currency makes bid for Senate

Freshman House lawmaker Glen Bradley is apparently looking for a title bump: state senator.

The Youngsville Republican's website now boasts a "Glen Bradley for N.C. Senate" banner after he was double-bunked in the redistricting process with Rep. Jeff Collins, a fellow Republican. 

Bradley would likely run in the new Senate District 18, which takes in all of Franklin County and part of Wake County, with the bulk of voters living Wake.

Bradley is best known for suggesting the state use its own currency. But last week, amid the debate on a constitutional amendment to ban gay marriage, he showed his bright Libertarian colors once more in proposing to remove the state from licensing marriages because it usurps God's authority.

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