LAWMAKERS THROW McCRORY A BONE: The first bill to Gov. Pat McCrory's desk is likely to be a measure to cut unemployment benefits for the jobless. The Republican supports the bill but don't be surprised if it's not the first one he signs. The House worked late Wednesday to pass another bill designed to create two paths for high school graduates: technical schools or college. McCrory campaigned on this issue and Democrats expect to him to make it the first bill he signs. "The word on the street is that the governor wants to have a press conference on this," Democratic state Rep. Paul Luebke of Durham said on the House floor in criticizing the speed at which it progressed. The bill was heard in committee and given initial approval in the House in the same day.
TODAY AT THE STATEHOUSE: State Auditor Beth Wood appears before lawmakers this morning to talk about a recent audit showing troubles in the Medicaid system -- a documents Republicans are using as justification to block a Medicaid expansion under the federal health care law. A Senate committee will consider a measure to block public access to records about concealed weapons holders. On the House floor, House Speaker Thom Tillis is limiting debate on a controversial measure to block Medicaid expansion to 30 minutes. Lawmakers want to leave early today, in part, because it's Valentine's Day. McCrory is hosting more lawmakers for breakfast and lists no other public events.
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