NC Legislative Update
By Cady Thomas
Along party lines, the NC General Assembly passed new House, Senate and Congressional maps in the first few days of November. The battle has moved to the courts but here is where things stand now:
Congress – 8 safe Republican seats, 3 safe Democrat seats, and 3 competitive seats with 2 of those leaning Republican.
NC Senate – 24 safe Republican seats, 17 safe Democrat seats, and 9 competitive seats of which 5 lean Republican.
NC House – 55 safe Republican seats, 41 safe Democrat seats, and 24 competitive seats of which 13 lean Republican.
Another thing of note, Speaker Tim Moore is not going to run for Congress. A move that shocked Raleigh as it was speculated he would run for the new 13th Congressional seat. However, the Speaker announced his intent to run for his current NC House seat and the Speakership again just a day after Congressman Madison Cawthorn said he would run in the new 13th rather than his current seat, the 14th.
Bills and Legislation
The leaders of the NCGA stated we will see the Conference Report for the budget on November 15th. Unfortunately, they have not been able to get complete agreement with Governor Cooper but have stated many of his priorities are included. Once they vote this week it will go to the governor for his action. He can sign it, veto it, or allow it to become law without signature. While rumors in Raleigh abound, many are saying the General Assembly could override his veto this year. Something they have not been able to do since 2018.
Numbers as of November 12:
1,501,801 total cases
1,082 currently hospitalized
4.4% percentage of positive tests each day
68% of adult population fully vaccinated
Last week, OSHA put out their guidelines for President Biden’s vaccine mandate. These are being litigated in court. The Federal Court of Appeals has paused the implementation of the mandate as they see it as flawed and too broad. The NC Labor Commissioner Josh Dobson remains committed to working with NC businesses to navigate and mitigate the mandate.
Other Important Items
Federal Infrastructure Package
Congress finally passed their infrastructure package and the White House is projecting that NC will receive $9 billion over the next 5 years for things like bridge replacement, highway programs, public transportation, and broadband access. Here is the breakdown:
Roads and bridges: $7.2 billion for highway programs and another $457 million for bridge replacement and repairs through congressional funding formulas.
Public transportation: $911 million to improve public transit options.
Electric vehicle charging network: $109 million over the next five years to expand an EV charging network.
Broadband internet: At least $100 million to provide broadband coverage. That could help at least 424,000 North Carolina residents and more than 30% of people in the state would be eligible for a benefit that helps low-income families afford internet access.