NC Legislative Update
By Cady Thomas
For all the media attention the NCGA has received, and despite 1,649 bills being introduced, only 101 have passed in the last 7 months and half of those have been local bills, resolutions, and appointments bills. Legislation affecting policy in most areas has been pushed to the end of session.
When will session end? Well, Jones Street has been a quiet place since the General Assembly left for recess the week of July 3 with the House only in session one day this week and maybe not again until the middle of August. The Senate does not plan to return before the week of July 24th at the earliest. This week, Senior House Appropriations Chairman Jason Saine indicated the budget would likely not be done until the middle of August. So…we have a long hot summer ahead of us.
Prior to their break, legislators focused on budget negotiations between the House and Senate and working on high priority issues of importance to Republicans. Governor Cooper has not been shy about vetoing bills even though he knows it is just delaying the inevitable. As of July 10, Cooper had vetoed 13 bills. But with supermajorities in both bodies, 8 have been overridden and the other 5 will be considered and likely overridden when they return.
Senator Mike Woodard from Durham announced this week he is running to be the next Mayor of Durham. He does not have to leave his Senate seat to run for this office.
Other Important Issues
US Supreme Court Rulings
The US Supreme Court ruled on two cases involving NC – handing the state a loss in both. In the first, they held that the NC Supreme Court could oversee redistricting conducted by the state legislature. In the second, they struck down UNC-Chapel Hill’s affirmative action practices in accepting students.
For the second year in a row, North Carolina was ranked the best state for business by CNBC.