House Speaker Thom Tillis laid out his goals for this year's General Assembly short session Wednesday. He said the ultimate accomplishment for lawmakers will be making adjustments to the state budget in a timely manner.
Tillis said he and other legislative leaders hope their actions over the next several weeks will support the governor in his efforts to put some long awaited raises into effect.
"We will absolutely place a priority on fulfilling the promise that we made back in the February time frame for teacher raises and for state employee raises," said Tillis. "I think that if you could...if you ask me to answer the situation with the budget in one word..the word would be manageable."
While his goal is to run an efficient General Assembly short session, Tillis said he understands that his performance is being critiqued nationally.
He is in the midst of a campaign to unseat Democrat Kay Hagan from the U.S. Senate. Reporters from outside North Carolina have flocked to Raleigh to assess his leadership. Tillis said that doesn't bother him at all.
"To me, the scrutiny is good and the reason for that is the enormous success that we've had over the last three years," he said. "I want the national media to know what we've done in terms of economic recovery. I want them to know that we're the first majority that's actually created any substantial increase in teacher salaries."
Last week, Tillis bested a large field of candidates in the GOP Senate primary earning the right to face Hagan in November. National analysts say the seat could be critical to Republican efforts to win control of the U.S. Senate. The latest polls indicate it could be a close race.