Since our last update, legislators have been attending conferences, and continuing closed door budget negotiations. They will return this Wednesday for votes on veto overrides more of Governor Cooper’s vetoes and on other legislation that is ready for a floor vote in the House. The Budget will not be voted on this week.

Last week, Senate President Berger and Speaker Moore noted they are working out more than 70 remaining items. However, they have agreed on the tax package and state employee raises. Speaker Moore was quoted as saying a budget vote will not happen before September 1 which will again cause NC DHHS to delay the Medicaid expansion rollout. Secretary Kinsley asked the leaders to pass a budget by September 1 so they could begin coverage of the newly eligible on October 1. A new date for rollout has not been announced.

The state continues to operate on the 2022-23 budget.

After this week’s session, we do not anticipate any more public work for the remainder of August with the legislature returning after Labor Day to vote on the budget, veto overrides, and conference reports. They will then determine the schedule for a session on redistricting. Thus, we will likely be in session through September and into the fall.

Important Items

Quarry at RDU

The judge has ordered that the quarry must be allowed to operate, thus overturning the decision by regulators denying the mining permit. After stating “The small area of the park potentially affected by the proposed operation would not, due to the prohibition against visitors in that area, affect anything at all,” he ordered NC DEQ to give Wake Stone Corp. a permit within 30 days.

Transportation Plan

NCDOT is now evaluating projects for the STIP that will cover 2026-35. The 30-day public comment period runs from August 1-31.

Coal Ash 

Duke Energy has begun clean up of the Belews Creek Stream and will continue the process for the next 11 years.

Election News

Moore Plans

After serving as the longest Speaker in North Carolina history, Speaker Moore has announced he will not seek another term. However, it is unclear what his next steps will be. His political advisor says he has “multiple options on the table” which some have speculated could be a run for Congress.

The Next Speaker

That leaves the position of Speaker open and the race is on and the likely candidates are having no trouble raising money.  The top contenders are current House Majority Leader John Bell and current House Rules Committee Chair Destin Hall. Another House member, Keith Kidwell, announced two weeks ago that he was also running for Speaker but his changes are less likely.

One name that keeps coming up as a potential candidate is current House Appropriations Chair Jason Saine due to his incredible fundraising advantage. However, he has not announced a run.


Who is Running?

  • Congressman Bishop is not running for reelection to the US House but will run to be the next NC Attorney General. This is an open seat as AG Stein has announced he is running for Governor.

  • Jesse Thomas, who has had a career in healthcare, is running for Governor as a Republican.

  • Andy Wells, former Senator and current NCDOT Board member is running for Governor as a Republican.

  • Representative Jon Hardister previously announced his run for Labor Commissioner and current Commissioner Josh Dobson has given him his endorsement.

A New Political Party

On Sunday, yes Sunday (??) – the NC Board of Elections voted to recognize the “No Labels” group as a political party in NC. The group calls themselves a centrist party and has the involvement of former NC Governor Pat McCrory (R) and CEO of the National Newspaper Publishers Association, Benjamin F. Chavis, Jr.

Practically this means any candidate that wants to run under this party can be on the ballot in 2024. The group will hold a national convention in April where it will likely nominate a candidate for President. Both US Senator Joe Manchin (D-WY) and former Governor Jon Huntsman (R-UT) are thought to be top candidates.