By Cady Thomas
While the NCGA is out of session, the following committees will meet to address various issues:
Joint Legislative Committee on Health Care Access and Medicaid Expansion – Tuesday, March 29 at 9:30am and Monday, April 11 at 1:30pm;
Joint Legislative Oversight Committee on General Government – Tuesday, April 5 at 9am;
Joint Legislative Administrative Procedure Oversight Committee – Tuesday, April 5 at 1pm;
Joint Legislative Transportation Committee – Thursday, April 7 at 10am; and
Joint Legislative Oversight Committee on Medicaid and NC Health Choice – Tuesday, April 12 at 2pm.
Spring and Short Legislative Sessions
The House and Senate are scheduled to reconvene on Monday, April 4 at 12pm and adjourn by April 6. They will return again on May 4 to adjourn on May 6. The 2022 Short Session will begin May 17 at 12pm for what is truly anticipated to be a short session. Only those bills related to the state budget, bills implementing recommendations from select committees and commissions, bills related to redistricting or bills that passed one chamber may be considered during this session.
Numbers as of March 30, 2022:
2,628,287 total cases
495 currently hospitalized
26.9% percentage of positive tests each day
72% of adult population fully vaccinated, 62% of total population fully vaccinated
NC’s New COVID Strategy
Governor Roy Cooper announced last week that NC will shift into a new phase of the COVID-19 pandemic which will rely more heavily on personal responsibility. This includes reallocating resources to treat COVID-19 like we treat the common flu virus.
Other Important Items
DOT Bidding Process Changes
NCDOT will change their bidding process beginning June 1, 2022. Contractors bidding on NCDOT contracts must sign up for the Interested Parties List for each project they intend to submit bids on. As part of this new requirement, Contractors must sign up for the Interested Parties List no later than one business day prior to the Letting Date.
The changes NCDOT is making to the bidding process can be reviewed here. This link includes information for plan holders, interested parties and authorized bidders, as well as a step-by-step guide to registering online as an interested party.
Residents in Yadkin County have raised concerns about a company’s proposal to build a new rock quarry and have started a petition to stop the project. The company is responding to questions through an online portion of their website.
Supreme Court Petition
The NCGA leadership has filed a writ of certiorari with the U.S. Supreme Court to review the congressional redistricting case. While the Court denied an earlier request to throw out the NC Supreme Court’s ruling in time for this year’s election, they did not lose the right to appeal the case on a broader argument.
The NCGA leadership is arguing that state courts, nor the executive branch, have authority over anything related to federal elections. “The U.S. Constitution is crystal clear: state legislatures are responsible for drawing congressional maps, not state court judges,” said the Speaker of the House Tim Moore (R-Cleveland). “We are hopeful that the Supreme Court will reaffirm this basic principle and will throw out the illegal map imposed on the people of North Carolina by its highest court. It is time to settle the Elections Clause question once and for all.”
Senate President Pro Tem Phil Berger (R-Rockingham) also stated, “We must continue this fight to restore the primacy of the legislature and put an end to these efforts to undermine its constitutional duty.” A link to the petition can be found here.
In order to be heard, four Justices must agree to hear the case and while the Court voted 6-3 to deny the earlier petition, Justice Kavanaugh said the argument was important but the timing was wrong, indicating he could be the fourth vote to hear the case.