NC Legislative Update

by Cady Thomas

Activity Updates

What happened the week of Feb 6-10? A Lot!


  • Passed SB 49 – Parent’s Bill of Rights along party lines.

  • Passed SB 53 – Hotel Safety Issues along party lines.

  • Unanimously confirmed Todd Ishee as the Secretary of the Department of Adult Corrections.



  • Introduction of the first bill to expand Medicaid – HB 76 – Access to Health Care Options – with bipartisan co-sponsors. It is scheduled for hearing on Feb 14th.

  • Passed HB 40 – Preventing Rioting and Civil Disorder with bipartisan support. Leadership unanimously approved an amendment from a Freshman Democrat.


Both Senate and House

  • Confirmed Nels Roseland as the State Controller for a seven-year term.

  • Began holding Joint Appropriations Committees to provide overviews of the budgeting process.

NC Budget Surplus
Economists from the NC General Assembly and the State Budget Office are projecting a more than $3billion surplus in revenues for the fiscal year ending June 30. This is almost 11% higher than anticipated.  Immediately upon learning of the surplus, Senate Pro Tempore Phill Berger and Governor Roy Cooper both issued statements. “These increased funds are needed desperately to pay our teachers more, fund our schools, provide quality child care for parents in our workforce and to pay for the tax cuts for working families that we put in place last year,” said Governor Roy Cooper. “I hope we can negotiate a bipartisan budget that makes these investments without more tax breaks for the wealthiest among us.”
Senator Berger took a different angle with his comments saying “Today’s consensus revenue forecast confirms that North Carolina’s tax policies are fueling economic growth. The surplus is a significant increase over the current fiscal year’s budget. While this year’s surplus is welcomed news, we need to be cautious as we prepare the budget. We must continue to prioritize responsible spending, addressing our state’s workforce needs, and providing additional tax relief to our citizens.”


Bills and Legislation

House Veto Overrides

As previously reported, the Senate Republicans have enough members to override a veto but the House Republicans are one vote short. The leadership in the House proposed rules that would allow a veto override vote at any point after the Governor issued the veto. Meaning it could happen very quickly and without much notice.


After pushback, the House leadership changed the rule to say the veto could be voted on any day the message was received from the Governor or the Senate or on any day it was published on the House Calendar, effectively giving all representatives at least 12 hours notice to return to Raleigh. The House Rules will be voted on this week.




Numbers as of February 8, 2023:

  • 3,438,259 total cases

  • 28,235 deaths

  • 975 people – 7 day average of those hospitalized (This is down by ½ from our last report.)

  • 74% of adult population fully vaccinated, 63% of total population fully vaccinated


Election News

Investigation Closed

The Wake County District Attorney has closed the investigation into Attorney General Josh Stein’s campaign ads. Filed last year, the DA alleged his ad was false and violated state law. The case was closed after a Federal Appeals Court ruled in favor of Stein saying the state law violates the First Amendment of the US Constitution.


Democratic Party Leadership

Over the weekend the NC Democratic Party elected Anderson Clayton as their new leader. This is seen as a blow to the “old guard” in the Party as the previous Chair, Bobbie Richardson, had the support from Governor Cooper, AG Josh Stein, and all seven Democrats in Congress from NC. Clayton, who is 25, campaigned on the need for change in the party and a focus on rural North Carolina.


There was also a change in the position of First Vice Chair as 36 year old Jonah Garson beat former legislator Floyd McKissick, Jr.


Attorney General’s Race

With current AG Stein running for Governor, the field is open in both parties for candidates. Friday. Former Representative Tom Murry announced he will run for the office. Murray’s background is broad as he has been a local prosecutor, pharmacist, town council member, and is a member of the Army National Guard. “My pledge to the people of North Carolina is simple, I will stand beside local law enforcement, district attorneys and victim’s advocates to defend not defund the rule of law for all North Carolinians,” Murry said in a news release while criticizing Stein’s AG tenure.


Other Important Items

Bridge Funding

The Biden Administration is funding projects all over the country in the “Meta” program. One project receiving funds is the new bridge on U.S. 64 over the Alligator River in northeastern North Carolina. “We got over 130 applications, and in this case we were able to fund nine projects,” Buttigieg said in an interview. “To give you a sense of how good a project had to be to make the cut.”  NC will receive $110 million to help fund the expected $268 million project. Meta identified the replacement bridge as a vital way to get to the Outer Banks and was a perfect fit for the national program.


Cady Thomas

Partner, Focus Public Affairs