Tillis unanimously elected Speaker of NC House
RALEIGH — In what was called a "ceremonial" session, the North Carolina General Assembly gaveled in for the first time for the 2013 biennial session on Wednesday.
Wednesday's opening was primarily set to allow both houses of the General Assembly to elect its leadership for the session.
In the House, Rep. Thom Tillis, R-Mecklenburg, was unanimously tabbed as the Speaker of the House. Tillis was elected by acclamation along with Rep. Paul "Skip" Stam, who was elected as the Speaker Pro-Tempore.
Durning his acceptance speech, Tillis said that he looked forward to "continuing the work we started two years ago."
“Two years ago, I stood before you and accepted the highest honor of my professional and political career,” Tillis said in his acceptance speech. “I am deeply moved and doubly honored by the unanimous support given to me today.”
He also welcomed the 40 new members of the House and thanked them for their "willingness to serve."
He touched on issues like education, tax and regulatory reform and state spending during his acceptance speech.
“We must pass budgets that put the interests of taxpayers ahead of the interests of those who want to expand the scope and the cost of government,” Tillis said.
In receiving unanimous support, Tillis also took time out to thank the Democrat Caucus.
“I pledge to you and to all members of the Democratic Caucus that we will work together when we agree, and I will ensure civil, respectful discourse when we disagree,” Tillis said.
On the Senate side, Sen. Phil Berger of Eden was selected as the Senate leader for the next two years and Sen. Louis Pate of Mount Olive was picked as the deputy Senate leader, according to the Associated Press.
The AP also reported that Gov. Pat McCrory was also on-hand in both galleries to watch the proceedings.
The Associated Press contributed to this report