Buried in a great version of the N&O's Under the Dome column was this nugget:
N.C. House Speaker Pro Tem Richard Morgan found no takers Thursday when he asked for debate during the final vote on an $18.9 billion budget proposal. He waited a few moments and then called for the vote.
But at the front of the chamber, in Morgan's seat, sat a lawmaker who had plenty to say -- House Speaker Jim Black, who had let Morgan take the gavel for Thursday's session. Black had a speech prepared, praising his colleagues for their efforts in assembling what he considers the best budget proposal for education he has ever seen.
The problem was that when Morgan took the speaker's podium, the button at his desk that signals a desire to speak was turned off, so Black could not get Morgan's attention until after the vote had been taken. He asked for a point of personal privilege to deliver the budget speech.
"We've done the right thing this session, and I'm proud of the 92 votes we got yesterday and the 90 votes today," said Black, a Mecklenburg County Democrat.
I for one move that Jim Black permanently be put in the seat where he cannot speak.
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