North Carolina Senate leader Marc Basnight will be absent temporarily from the Legislative Building because of what his office says is an illness in his family.
Basnight's chief of staff Amy Fulk says he is communicating with the office several times a day and hopes to return as soon as possible.
Details of the illness weren't provided.
The long-time legislator said in a letter to colleagues this week that he will return as quickly as he can. But he asked senators to work together to be sure legislation moves forward.