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FORE! Lawmakers short-circuit budget, fracking debates; set aside time to discuss…golf?

Golf ball on teeState lawmakers are rushing through a bevy of important and destructive bills during the 2014 short session — often with remarkably little process or debate.  The Senate is even going so far as to take the most important bill of the session — the 274-page budget bill — from its moment of unveiling to final passage in just 48 hours. Meanwhile, House Speaker Thom Tillis threatened his chamber with a rare Friday session if they didn’t speed along a bill to legalize fracking.

Ah, but happily, the mad rush doesn’t apply to all matters. According to an announcement emailed out early this afternoon by the House Commerce and Jobs Development Committee, that august body will be devoting two full hours of precious short session time next Thursday to the subject of golf. This is from the announcement:

“NORTH CAROLINA HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES
JOINT COMMITTEE MEETING NOTICE AND BILL SPONSOR NOTIFICATION
2013-2014 SESSION

You are hereby notified that the House Committee on Commerce and Job Development will meet as follows:

DAY & DATE: Thursday, June 5, 2014
TIME: 10:00 AM
LOCATION: 544 LOB
COMMENTS: This is an informational meeting. The objective of the NC Golf Economic Impact meeting is to review the historic and ongoing economic contributions golf has made to the state. When examined in a historic context one reaches a simple conclusion: NC has been very good for golf and golf has returned the favor in kind.

The timing of our meeting is appropriate since the following week Pinehurst #2 will host back to back men’s and women’s US Opens, a historic first.

We will recap the findings of a recent research study conducted by the Stanford Research Institute on the NC golf economy. In addition we will have speakers and presentations to give us a behind the scenes look into the preparations of the Open along with projections of the enormous financial impact it will have in Pinehurst and the region.

* Please note the room change. This is a joint meeting and might last up to two hours. Thank you.

Respectfully,

Representative Tom Murry, Chair”

You got that? Lawmakers don’t have time to allow the public to comment on any number of momentous and destructive legislative initiatives, but they have two hours to celebrate the joys of golf. Don’t get me wrong; it’s a great sport. But this seems like a serious case of misplaced priorities.

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