Under the Dome

Morning Roundup: Rule says visitors not welcome on 2nd floor at statehouse

At the statehouse, North Carolina's people are prohibited from visiting the second floor - the floor where lobbyists lobby and lawmakers make laws. The rule is posted on a concrete wall in the lobby, written in roughly 12-point font, behind glass and a black frame, tucked in a corner behind a leafy potted tree.

The language is nearly 25 years old, and few lawmakers knew it even existed until Thursday, when House Speaker Thom Tillis' office invoked it - for first time in anyone's memory - to clear a group of demonstrators from the hall outside his office. Read more here.

In other news:

-- Democrat Brad Miller says he won't run for governor and Republican Pat McCrory declared in a Raleigh event he's halfway to his goal. And Republicans rallied against President Barack Obama in Charlotte.

--Prosecutors want to play a bigger role in the state's Innocence Inquiry Commission, the 5-year-old panel that reviews convicted felons' claims that they didn't commit a crime. Read here.

--State budget cuts put N.C. State University in triage mode. Read here.

--And the treasurer for John Edwards campaign says he never saw the 2011 campaign reports.


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"The Upper Room"

A few years ago I recall Bev asked for a significant increase on each pack of cigarettes sold in North Carolina as part of a budget proposal.  I don't think anything became of her proposal.  Do you think that had anything to do with lobbyists?  Were there lobbyists back then or did lobbying originate when the Republicans took over?   Everyone must have been really happy these past 25 years since no one ever wandered up to the 2nd floor.   

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