The N.C. House and Senate convened this week without a legislative bill on the agenda. The somber mood in the General Assembly was underscored by the sudden death of Mark Binker, who for 12 years served as a reporter covering state politics and government. Leaders of both political parties, including Gov. Roy Cooper, made public comments admiring the professionalism of Binker who worked for the Greensboro News-Record, later for WRAL’s Capitol Report, and more recently for the Raleigh News-Observer Insider. Binker was 43. Last week committees and the chambers worked at a frenzied pace to pass bills before the crossover deadline. Bills must pass one chamber before it can cross over to the next.
Wednesday the House and Senate met in a joint session to honor the UNC men’s basketball team that won the NCAA national championship. The Senate reportedly is working on the budget which will be rolled out next week—by Thursday according to some reports.