NC Legislative Update
By Cady Thomas
NC General Assembly Schedule
The NCGA had light schedules the last two weeks with very few committee meetings and floor votes. They plan to return next week to ramp back up with the expectation of passing a budget by the middle of October.
Bills and Legislation
The Senate Pro Tempore and the Speaker of the House finished negotiations on the state budget at 9:30am on Wednesday morning. They have sent it to Governor Cooper for his initial review before making it public.
We expect there to be negotiations between the NCGA and governor’s office over the next week to get to a final package all can agree on. If that happens, this will be the first budget for the state in four years. Since 2019, we have been operating off of the 2018 budget that was modified slightly through mini budgets.
CRMCA expects that the $5 million funding for Be Pro Be Proud will be in the final package as it was in both the House and Senate budgets.
If signed, it will mean raises for teachers and state employees, funding for infrastructure like broadband and roads, and tax cuts. Details of the budget should be released in the coming week.
Numbers as of September 30:
1,395,254 total cases
2,943 currently hospitalized
7.7% percentage of positive tests each day
64% of adult population fully vaccinated
Other Important Items
The NCGA wraps up their 13 hearing listening tour of NC on the public’s desires for this year’s redistricting process. The House has announced their redistricting committee will meet two days next week. Maps will be drawn and voted on by the NCGA later this month and are not subject to a veto from the governor.
Redistricting reform has always been a hot topic but gained more attention this week when Art Pope, a major player in Republican politics, and former UNC President Tom Ross expressed their interest and positive conversations with legislators about reform through an amendment to the North Carolina Constitution.
Filing for state and federal races happens in early December and thus legislators are starting to announce their decisions not to run for reelection to their current seats. While more retirements or announcements of different office runs are expected, the following have already announced:
Senator Ben Clark – Senate District 21
Representative Charles Graham* – House District 47
Representative Verla Insko – House District 56
Representative Larry Pittman – House District 83
*Representative Graham has announced he intends to run for Congress in a to-be-determined district.
Other Important Items
The NC Department of Transportation is suing the City of Raleigh asking a federal court grant them a temporary construction easement by eminent domain. NCDOT says they need to land in St. Mary’s Township while they work on the southeast extension of the Triangle Expressway.
A judge ruled in favor of the Umstead Coalition by finding that the NC Department of Water Quality erred when it permitted Wake Stone’s bridge on the banks of Crabtree Creek. The company has not yet decided if they will appeal the decision.