Where Is the “Special Interest Speaker Tillis”?

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RALEIGH - As Moral Monday demonstrators return to the General Assembly to spotlight radical policies of a runaway state legislature, where is “Special Interest Speaker Tillis?”

Answer:  Tillis is in Washington, DC raising money with special interest lobbyists.

Meanwhile, lawmakers have filed a bill that would close the state’s Medicaid gap and give nearly 320,000 low-income North Carolinians access to health care that the Republican-controlled leadership has been denying them.

But when the General Assembly convenes at 4pm this afternoon, you won’t see Speaker Thom Tillis presiding over the NC House. Instead of working Raleigh as he was elected to do, the speaker is in Washington, DC for a fundraiser with wealthy Beltway lobbyists.

This is the second time Speaker Tillis has skipped work so he can pander to special interests. In July, he missed a day of important debate to raise money at the National Association of Wholesaler-Distributors — the same special interest group he’s meeting with today. Despite bipartisan calls for Tillis to step down as Speaker during his run for U.S. Senate, Tillis is instead delaying important votes and debate to fit his fundraising schedule so he can keep his title.  Meanwhile, Republicans claim there is not enough time to reform Medicaid, which they claim is broken as they deny health coverage for 320,000 low-income state residents.

“The General Assembly doesn't even meet five days a week,” said Gerrick Brenner, Exec. Director of ProgressNC Action.  “Is it really so much to ask for “Special Interest Speaker Tillis” to be here to do his job?  Teachers need a raise. Hundreds of thousands of low-income residents need healthcare. It is fitting that on the day when hard-working taxpayers are turning out to the General Assembly to spotlight an extreme, special interest agenda, the leader of the NC House is in Washington trolling for special interest money.”

Here's the invitation, with full details from the Raleigh News & Observer.

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