Gov. Pat McCrory

This story originally appeared here and is published by Carolina Public Press through a content-sharing agreement with The Charlotte Observer.

By Jim Morrill,

RALEIGH — Gov. Pat McCrory said Tuesday he “agreed to disagree” with African-American lawmakers on a proposed voter ID bill and other issues.

But the Republican governor touted his meeting with the Legislative Black Caucus and an earlier meeting with heads of historically black colleges and universities as evidence that he’s reaching out to groups that might not always agree with him.

McCrory’s meetings with both groups were closed to the media. But speaking to reporters after his 40-minute meeting with legislators, he said he still supports voter ID legislation opposed by most of the black lawmakers.

The House will hold another public hearing on the ID proposals Wednesday.

“I plan to sign an ID bill on the conclusion of these public hearings,” McCrory said.

McCrory suggested that some lawmakers were worried that favored programs might be eliminated or cut back through budget cuts or reorganization. “It does not mean we’re going to eliminate these services,” he said. “It means we’ve got to look in a new direction to provide those services.”

Democratic Sen. Malcolm Graham of Charlotte, a caucus member, applauded McCrory and Senate Republican leaders for meeting with administrators of black colleges.

“It was a great opportunity for everyone to kind of be statesmen,” Graham said.

A McCrory spokesman said it appeared to be the first time a governor has met with either minority group for several years.

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