By Cady Thomas
A few members of the NCGA returned to Raleigh last week to hold a skeletal session. They will meet again for a 3-day session, where no action is scheduled, starting August 23.
NC #1 State for Business in 2022 CNBC ranked NC the top state for business this year, up from number 2 in 2021. NC rarely finishes outside the top 10 in the annual rankings. 2022 Top States for Business: The Full Rankings
NCDOT Board Changes
Former NC Representative from Johnston County, Leo Daughtry, has been named to the NCDOT Board. He is replacing Hugh Overholt, a retired Army major general, who has served on the board since 2009. Another former representative, Cullie Tarleton, has told Governor Cooper he would not seek another term on the board but a replacement has not been named.
Governor Cooper announced last week that Peter Ledford will serve as the next energy director overseeing the state’s clean energy efforts. Ledford’s previous roles include an attorney for the N.C. Sustainable Energy Association and as a legislative analyst and staff attorney at the N.C. General Assembly. He replaces Dionne Delli-Gatti who left in May to return to her prior role at the Environmental Defense Fund.
Executive Order 266 gives state agencies 18 months to revise the state’s floodplain management policy, which has not been updated in 32 years. Cooper also wants to study expanding the requirements to other state-funded construction projects as he works towards his plan to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and adapt to climate change.
Bills and Legislation
Governor Cooper signed the budget into law on the last day he had to take action before it became law without action. He cited education and workforce spending as positive reasons to sign the budget. He also noted he is having continued conversations with the NCGA leadership about Medicaid expansion.
Numbers as of July 27, 2022:
2,983,130 total cases
1,111 people – 7 day average of those hospitalized
73% of adult population fully vaccinated, 62% of total population fully vaccinated
Governor Cooper has announced the state of emergency which was put in place to combat the COVID Pandemic will be lifted as of Aug 15th.
Other Important Items
NCDOT;s next transportation plan is available for public review and comment and can be found here. After the comment period, a reviewed draft will be released in December. The current State Transportation Improvement Program funds 1,718 projects, including 399 non-highway projects, in every county across the state and is scheduled through 2029.
Senator Bob Steinburg has announced he will retire from the Senate on July 31 to begin the cooling off period before he can become a lobbyist. It is expected that current Representative Bobby Hanig will be appointed to fulfill this term as he is running for a Senate seat in November. If this happens, Paul O’Neal, a former Currituck County commissioner, is seeking appointment to replace Hanig.
Tim Longest, a law clerk to NC Supreme Court Justice Robin Hudson, will replace Representative Grier Martin on the November ballot in Wake County. Rep. Martin retired from the NC House on July 8th to take a job at the Pentagon.
NC’s Governor Cooper was ranked as 9 out of 10 possible presidential candidates for Democrats by the Washington Post.