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McCrory signs a whole lot of bills

Gov. Pat McCrory has writer’s cramp, or he should. He signed 39 bills on Wednesday.

His office is highlighting HB903, a bill related to transferring credits from community college to the UNC system; HB146, which requires the state Board of Education to teach cursive writing and memorizing multiplication tables; and SB129, which prohibits issuance of a certain kind of debt.

Bill sponsors joined the governor for the signings.

Update: BTW, here are the rest of those bills: HB 10, HB 25, HB 32, HB 114, HB 125, HB 142, HB 301, HB 315, HB 361, HB 368, HB 383, HB 384, HB 407, HB 410, HB 449, HB 480, HB 532, HB 581, HB 591, HB 610, HB 687, HB 710, HB 774, HB 788, HB 789, HB 813, HB 821, HB 829, SB 208, SB 210, SB 252, SB 279, SB 433, SB 460, SB 603 and SB 634.

Morning Memo: Questions for Thom Tillis, McCrory wades into tax fight

THREE QUESTIONS FOR THOM TILLIS: House Speaker Thom Tillis' decision to formally enter the Senate race and challenge Democrat U.S. Sen. Kay Hagan is not a surprise. But the timing, coming before the end of the legislative session, when Tillis said in January he would make a decision, is noteworthy. Here are three more questions about the race:

1. How long will he remain speaker? Running for the U.S. Senate is no state legislative race. It's all consuming. Does Tillis think he can manage an unruly House that is to his ideological right while campaigning? The case for staying in office: it helps to control the purse strings when you are asking for money. His allied super PAC, by coincidence or not, debuted when the House received the budget from the Senate. The case for resigning: Why have everything the Rep. Brawley's of the world propose drag you into issue fights you don't want?

2. Who will challenge him from the right? Tillis' debuted his run with an AP interview in which he emphasized his ability to work across the aisle -- a common message, but rarely heard in the primary stage of a campaign when you are appealing the fieriest partisans of your party. But it underscores Tillis' moderate tendencies and how Tillis could easily face a big-name challenger who is considered more conservative. The field could get crowded -- and Tillis isn't polling well in GOP primary surveys because he's largely unknown, despite his powerful post.

3. What will Phil Berger do? The possibility that Senate leader Phil Berger could enter the race -- and move to Tillis' right -- would add a whole new dynamic to the Republican primary field as two legislative leaders govern the state by their future ambition. It sounds less likely that he will run but even if he doesn't run, Berger can exert considerable influence if Tillis remains in the legislature by steering legislation that forces him to take positions on issues he may rather avoid.

***Read more on Tillis' Senate bid and Gov. Pat McCrory's step into the tax debate for the first time -- all below in the Dome Morning Memo, the source for North Carolina political news and analysis. ***

Cursive on its way to becoming law

A bill requiring public schools to teach cursive writing is on its way to becoming law.

The Senate, again, approved a bill requiring cursive. This time, the vote was 46-3 and there was no debate.

This makes two cursive bills the Senate has approved. The Senate passed its own identical bill last month. The bill approved Thursday is a House bill sponsored by Rep. Pat Hurley. The idea picked up a few Senate supporters in the last month

When this becomes law, school kids will be required to learn cursive starting next year.

Morning Memo: More strong numbers for McCrory, immigration ads debut

CIVITAS POLL PUTS McCRORY ABOVE 50%: A Civitas poll puts Republican Gov. Pat McCrory's favorability rating at 54 percent, a touch higher than a poll earlier in the week showing it at 49 percent. His unfavorable rating is 30 percent, according to the political nonprofit that traditionally supports Republicans. Look for more numbers on Dome soon.

IMMIGRATION ADS PROVIDE GOP COVER: Americans for a Conservative Direction, a group backed by Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg, is airing an ad in North Carolina that defends the immigration legislation. The Hill reports that it is targeted at six red-leaning states and designed to support Republicans who favor the plan. From the story: "Anyone who thinks that what we have now on immigration is not a problem is fooling themselves," (Marco Rubio) says in a news clip featured in the ad. A narrator goes on to say that "conservative leaders have a plan," and cites news outlets like McClatchy, CNN and the Washington Post in describing it as "the toughest enforcement measure in the history of the United States," "bold" and "very conservative."

***Happy Friday! Thanks for reading the Dome Morning Memo. A quiet day in N.C. politics. No legislative action and the governor lists no public events. Find more news and analysis below. ***

Morning Memo: Gift ban repeal dead, Hahn investigation seeks motive

TILLIS SAYS LOBBYIST GIFT BAN WILL REMAIN INTACT: House Speaker Thom Tillis took to Twitter this week to declare Republican Robert Brawley's bill to lift the ban on lobbyists giving lawmakers gifts is dead. "Benny, does the fact that the bill is dead give you any idea?" @thomtillis wrote. The speaker's office confirmed the 10:10 p.m. Tuesday tweet was legit. Tillis addressed the response to Benjamin Ray, an operative at the N.C. Democratic Party pushing Tillis on the issue and tying it to his office's controversial past with lobbyists and the fact the bill came from one of his committee chairman.

MOTIVE FOR JAMIE HAHN'S STABBING TURNS TO CAMPAIGN MONEY: As the Triangle mourned slain political strategist Jamie Hahn on Wednesday, attention turned to whether the man who police say stabbed her had made questionable campaign finance reports while working for Hahn’s firm. More on the story below.

***Thanks for reading the Dome Morning Memo -- click below for much, much more from a busy day in N.C. politics. Send news and tips to dome@newsobserver.com. ***

Morning Roundup: Blueprint, cursive, DMV -- oh my!

It's Blueprint North Carolina's turn to be in the spotlight at least another day, as the head of the nonprofit group now says it didn't distribute the controversial strategy memo that offered options to discredit GOP leaders. He suggests political dirty tricks are at play.

A "Back to Basics" bill in the House would require students be taught cursive writing. (Holding an instrument called a pen or a pencil in your fingers and making looping figures on paper to form words and sentences -- before there were keyboards.)

DMV offices in Raleigh and two other cities will be open later on weeknights and on Saturday mornings, DOT Secretary Tony Tata announced. Ultimately, the expanded hours will be statewide.

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