The House is preparing for an evening session to finish consideration of the state budget -- but first an hour-and-a-half break. For what, you ask? Well, the N.C. Sportsmens' Caucus is holding an event at a state museum in downtown Raleigh. And the lawmakers didn't want to miss it. Such events often involve free food and drinks from lobbyists under an exemption in the law that allows them to buy lawmakers meals if an entire caucus or committee is invited or if the event is open to the public.
The lawmakers in the sportsmens' caucus are getting lobbied to invest restore funding for the Natural Resource Trust Fund, as seen in a full-page ad the N.C. Wildlife Federation bought in Tuesday's News & Observer.
The sportsmens' event isn't the only opportunity for mingling with lobbyists and free food. The N.C. Association of County Commissioners is also holding an event at the N.C. History Museum for all lawmakers.
The House is expected to return at 7 p.m. to finish the budget debate. And lawmakers may stay even later to consider the gambling compact.