Paying for them to do NOTHING





We, the beleaguered taxpayers of North Carolina, are being told that we will finance a “special session” of the General Assembly where ABSOLUTELY NOTHING will be voted on:

Those hoping for excitement during the April 23 special session at the General Assembly will (most likely) be disappointed. Everyone else can go ahead and focus on primary campaigns, the budget and other work for the legislative session.

Leaders in both the House and Senate said Monday that they planned only “skeleton sessions,” where the bare minimum of members needed to gavel in and out session attend.

Short mini-sessions have dotted the calendar since lawmakers adjourned last June. Most were designed to handle redistricting business in case courts overturned Congressional or legislative maps drawn by the General Assembly. Thus far, those maps have encountered little resistance in the courts.

However, speculation about what will happen during these non-traditional occasions has become particularly intense since January’s midnight madness veto override session.

Amy Auth, a spokeswoman for Senate President Pro Tempore Phil Berger, told my colleague Laura Leslie today that there will be no votes in the Senate.

And an e-mail from House Speaker Thom Tillis says the same will be true in the House. From the e-mail that went out from Tillis to House members today:

“After consultation with the Senate leadership, we have agreed that no matters will be taken up when the General Assembly convenes on Monday, April 23, 2012.    There will be no recorded votes and only a limited number of members will attend.  Unless you have other business in Raleigh, we encourage you to defer per diem and session compensation for the time the legislature is technically in session.

“The April 23, 2012 session is the last “special session” prior to the convening of the Short Session on May 16, 2012.”

That said, it would surprise nobody if these were well attended skeleton sessions, just in case.

Why have this session?  If you are not going to vote on anything, WHY SHELL OUT MORE TAX DOLLARS FOR IT?  Just stay away.  The state does SO MUCH better when these guys and gals are out of town and out of session.

It’s nice that  Speaker Tillis is asking the honorables to not pay themselves for this session where nothing will be done.  But there are still costs to taxpayers — building utilities, security, housekeeping, janitorial, etc., etc.

I hate this idea of playing nice with the opposition.  My rule, as speaker or president pro tem, would be DWJJAMWD  (Do what Joe, Jim, and Marc would do.)  Basnight would have been cramming stuff down the Republicans’ throats during this special session.

If everyone is out campaigning, and nothing is on the agenda,  CLOSE the sucker down and stay away.  THIS is the kind of money-wasting maneuver you’d expect from Hackney and Basnight — not a conservative majority.