After two weeks away, state legislature begins in earnest

RALEIGH (AP) - North Carolina legislators are returning to Raleigh after two weeks away to begin making laws.

The General Assembly is reconvening at midday Wednesday. The 170 House and Senate members officially began the two-year session Jan. 11 by electing Republican House Speaker Tim Moore and Senate leader Phil Berger, then went on a hiatus mandated by state law.

Little action was expected Wednesday beyond bill filings and a news conference where Democrats will set their goals. Lawmakers will leave for the weekend Thursday. Next week they're expected to begin their usual schedule. Passing a budget and addressing House Bill 2 could be among this year's top topics.

Lawmakers aim to adjourn in the early summer. The date could depend on relations with each other and new Democratic Gov. Roy Cooper.