Standing room only at town hall with N.C. Speaker Thom Tillis

Published: Aug. 17, 2011 at 2:59 AM EDT|Updated: Sep. 16, 2011 at 3:18 AM EDT
Email This Link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn

Cornelius, N.C. (WBTV) -- People packed the town hall in Cornelius to hear from North Carolina Speaker of the House Thom Tillis Tuesday night. The Republican from Mecklenburg County gaining more and more name recognition statewide but not everyone is happy with the job he is doing.

From the economy to education to the more hot button issues -- North Carolina Speaker of the house Thom Tillis got an earful from his constituents Tuesday night.

"I also think his excuse about them not having enough time to put it up on the legislative agenda was also a bit disingenuous," said one voter who lives in Davidson, N.C. "They've had more than enough time to discuss voter I.D., same sex marriage."

Another voter criticized the recent bill passed by the legislature that took away funding of Planned Parenthood and said, "I'm very concerned about the health and well being and young women and low income women in our state, and especially their access to preventative health care."

Tillis tried to be diplomatic in his response and said cuts to Medicaid were the bigger issues at play.

Laura Brannon, a neighbor from Davidson,  took issue with the speaker's support of the defense of marriage amendment which would define marriage as being between a man and a woman.

"Can you explain to us why you're squandering taxpayer resources on this hateful legislation," she questioned.

The amendment which could be brought to the floor next session is a polarizing issue.

Tillis fired back saying the bill has overwhelming support in the legislature.

"I think that it deserves a fair debate and if it's the will of the majority of the legislature to have that then be subject to a popular vote," he pointed out. "I would vote for it. If it comes up for a vote, I'll vote for it."

Despite being in the hot seat, Tillis said he was most impressed by how civil the crowd was.

"I think the thing that strikes me the most is the civil discourse we had," he said. "We clearly had people that don't agree with my view but we did it in a respectful way that everybody had a chance to talk."

Tillis also spent time answering questions after the meeting which lasted two hours, ended.

Copyright 2011 WBTV. All rights reserved.