The 2016 NC Legislative Session
begins April 25th
Check out Larry Hall's website to help us stay informed and involved! ncdemocraticleader.com
ACLU 2015 Legislative Report Card
Ratings are based on legislation proposed in the North Carolina General Assembly during the 2015 legislative session. The brighter Lady Liberty’s torch shines, the better a lawmaker’s position on civil liberties. read ratings here
Christensen: NC population shifts highlight redistricting problem
ROB CHRISTENSEN NOVEMBER 17, 2015
This is no longer Mayberry. The truth is, we haven’t been for some time. But the recession has accelerated the process of reshaping North Carolina... the countryside is emptying out, ...The state is projecting that by 2020, the state’s 50 smallest counties will have 13 percent of North Carolina’s population, while Wake and Mecklenburg counties alone will have more than 21 percent of the population... That rapidly changing demographics has major implications when the legislature sits down in 2021 to draw the new district lines for Congress and the legislature. It is among the reasons that bipartisan groups are pushing for an independent redistricting effort...
The political art of gerrymandering – perfected through the use of political software – has now made many general elections nearly irrelevant...
As it now exists, the only thing most lawmakers have to worry about is being “primary-ied” – challenged from the right if they are Republicans, or attacked from the left if they are Democrats. This political environment discourages bipartisan compromise. Such Soviet-style elections raise serious questions about the nature of our democracy. Which is why the GOP-led House approved a redistricting reform bill in 2011, and a majority of House members sponsored a similar bill this year. But so far, the state Senate has been a graveyard for redistricting reform. read column
Poll: NC voters want local government to have more power
BY COLIN CAMPBELL Nov. 17, 2015 N&O
About 75 percent of North Carolina voters support giving more authority to county and municipal governments through a “home rule” law, according to a poll released this week by the N.C. League of Municipalities. The league, which represents the state’s 540 municipalities, hired the firm McLaughlin & Associates to poll 600 likely general election voters. Local governments have been fighting efforts in the state legislature to limit their abilities to control zoning, construction standards and local elections. But because North Carolina isn’t a “home rule” state, the legislature often has the final say. read article
Goodwin: The ‘stubborn tax’ hikes N.C. premiums
BY NED BARNETT
NOVEMBER 7, 2015 N&O
...“I’m frustrated, angry and sad that in many ways our office is prohibited from acting in ways that I expect and the people expect. We can do better, as a state we can do better,” said [Insurance Commissioner Wayne] Goodwin, a Democrat elected statewide. ...for Republicans, the messier and more expensive “Obamacare” gets in North Carolina, the better. After all, they said it would be a “trainwreck,” and in North Carolina they did all they could to bend the rails.
...With another round of ACA enrollment starting Nov. 1, North Carolina’s average premium increase is among the highest in the nation. ... but the law forbids the state Department of Insurance from offering advice on how to shop for a more affordable plan... What’s maddening for Goodwin isn’t simply that he can’t give advice to consumers. It’s also that the lack of a state exchange hobbled his ability to attract more insurance companies to sell ACA plans in North Carolina – an increase in competition that would have held down rates... The insurance commissioner also regrets that he is blocked from taking a tougher line on rates submitted by the few companies that are selling here. “It would have helped if the state had left me with the muscle to push back and fight for consumers,” he said...
No state exchange, no state insurance department advocacy, no Medicaid expansion have “put us in North Carolina, in many respects, at ground zero for the worst possible result,” Goodwin said...
Goodwin calls the effect of the GOP’s hardline “a stubborn tax.” And he thinks it’s time for that tax to be repealed, “...Let’s move on. Let’s help North Carolinians, let’s have lower rates, let’s serve our families, let’s help people in rural hospitals, let’s save our budget from sending more and more money down a hole when the money could go to our public schools.” read column
After the whirlwind: A preliminary damage report on the 2015 legislative session
By Steve Ford
NC Policy Watch
...The list is long, but here are a few of the disappointing steps taken by a Republican-controlled legislature that seemed preoccupied with scaling back state government’s reach, as well as with comforting the comfortable and afflicting the afflicted:
Next Year's NC Legislative Session begins April 25th
Senate clears elections bills, delays final vote on environmental rules
By Mark Binker June 11, 2015 WRAL
...The bill that received the most debate during the floor session was House Bill 44, which senators have re-crafted into a measure that carries a number of regulations that impact local governments. ...part of the bill would require cities that want to reduce the number of lanes on state roads in order to add bike lanes to get approval from the North Carolina Board of Transportation, the appointed panel that oversees the state Department of Transportation. That extra step could lead to project delays and unwarranted disapprovals, said Sen. Mike Woodard, D-Durham. "The decisions on these roads should be made locally," Woodard said, putting forward an amendment that would leave road-slimming decisions to district engineers and local city governments. Both big and small cities use bike lanes and road-slimming measures to control the flow of traffic in downtown areas and neighborhoods. Wade opposed Woodard's move... The amendment was rejected. Senators expect to take another look at the bill on Monday night. read article
New report: Economic recovery has made no dent in NC poverty
by Julia Hawes
NC Policy Watch
Study finds state has higher rates of deep poverty and child poverty than majority of U.S.
Poverty in North Carolina either climbed or stayed steady from 2007 to 2013, despite the economic recovery, according to a new report from the Budget & Tax Center, a project of the NC Justice Center. Both North Carolina’s off-kilter economy and policymakers’ decisions to cut back on vital supports for working families are keeping poverty high, as wages remain stagnant, economic gains bypass nearly everyone except those at the top, and lawmakers continue to enact policies that compound these economic disparities.
In 2013, poverty in North Carolina – which is defined as a family of four living on less than $24,000 each year – was the most widespread it had been since before the turn of the century, the report said. The rate was 17.9 percent in 2013, the 11th highest in the nation, with the deep poverty rate and child poverty rate both the 12th highest. read article
Read the full report: NORTH CAROLINA’S Greatest Challenge: Widespread struggles remain a grave threat to economic growth and us all
A day’s work should mean a day’s pay
By Carol Brooke
NC Policy Watch
“A fair day’s pay for a fair day’s work”: This old saying used to have real meaning in the American economy. Sadly, in recent years, it has been proven untrue over and over again – especially in North Carolina... Right now in North Carolina, however, wage theft is a serious problem too often experienced by those who are least able to withstand its effects. The North Carolina Department of Labor (as well as Governor McCrory and the General Assembly) need to stop stalling and take swift action to change this situation and ensure that North Carolina residents are fully paid for all their hours worked. read article
Congresswoman Alma Adams urges Governor McCrory to veto measure that unnecessarily restricts food aid for childless adults
by Tazra Mitchell October 16, 2015 Progressive Pulse
Earlier this month, Congresswoman Alma Adams of the 12th District penned a letter urging Governor McCrory to veto a bill that would unnecessarily restrict food aid for childless adults who are very poor and live in areas where jobs are scarce—regardless of how hard they are looking for work... “House Bill 318 is [a] significant step backwards for supporting the hungry as they look for work,” wrote Congresswoman Adams. “All this bill does is punish people in high unemployment areas and limits the state’s ability to meet the needs of the unemployed,” she continued. read article
Technician, 10/20/15: House Bill 318: McCrory has 10 days
Lengthy legislative session wraps-up with some controversial provisions saved for 2016 (video)
Clayton Henkel Wednesday, September 30, 2015
A strong push by city and county governments, the LGBT community, and consumer rights advocates successfully prevented the General Assembly from adopting sweeping language Tuesday to limit local control. Provisions inserted in Senate Bill 279 would have prevented local government leaders from enforcing fair housing requirements, employment protections for LGBT individuals, or even increasing the local minimum wage. read details/watch video
WRAL: Several high-profile bills left unfinished
& After last-minute changes, lawmakers end overtime session
House Minority Leader Larry Hall talks about the budget
On the Record: NC budget winners and losers
"On the Record" goes in depth about the 2015 North Carolina budget, which Gov. Pat McCrory signed on Sept. 18, 2015.
[Leader Hall begins around the 8:00 minute mark]
WRAL Sept 19, 2015
US Supreme Court orders review of NC redistricting
April 20, 2014 WRAL
The U.S. Supreme Court on Monday threw out a North Carolina court ruling that upheld Republican-drawn electoral districts for state and congressional lawmakers. The justices ordered the state Supreme Court to consider anew whether the North Carolina legislature relied too heavily on race when it redrew voting districts following the 2010 census... The Supreme Court said judges in North Carolina must revisit their ruling in light of the Alabama decision. read article
Legislative leaders say controversial religious freedom bills not moving
By Mark Binker April 23, 2015 WRAL
State House and Senate leaders said Thursday that they are unlikely to push forward this summer with North Carolina's own version of a religious freedom bill that has been the subject of controversy in other states where it has passed. Members of both the House and the Senate have filed versions of the Religious Freedom Restoration Act, which makes it illegal for the state to "burden" a person's ability to follow his or her religious beliefs. The definition of "person" includes religious institutions, businesses and associations... However, the measure is broadly viewed as a way to legalize discrimination against gay and lesbian couples and has drawn criticism from the business community, including the leaders of big companies such as IBM and Red Hat. ...timing is key because lawmakers are facing the key April 30 "crossover" deadline by which bills that don't raise or spend money typically have to pass one chamber or the other in order to remain eligible for consideration during the legislative session. read article
The no-brainer of raising the minimum wage
4/9/2015 by Chris Fitzsimon NC Policy Watch
One of the biggest problems with the so-called Carolina Comeback frequently touted by Governor Pat McCrory and state legislative leaders is that it is leaving thousands of North Carolina workers behind— and not just the ones who are unable to find a job and are no longer counted when the often-cited unemployment rate is calculated. Many people lucky enough to have jobs are earning less. That is beyond dispute. Workers in North Carolina have less buying power than they did before the Great Recession even though the state’s overall economic output has increased by more than 18 percent. Much of the job growth during the recovery has been in low wage industries that pay workers the $7.25 an hour minimum wage or close to it, making it almost impossible for them to make ends meet... There any many things state and federal policymakers should consider in response to the problem, but one is easy to do, easy to understand, and popular with the voters.
Raise the minimum wage. read article
McCrory: I Won’t Sign These Bad Bills
March 31, 2015 by John Wynne Politics NC
Pat McCrory made it very clear yesterday that he’s no fan of several bills being debated by the General Assembly. It seems like the governor has rediscovered his urban moderate philosophy. He’s gone so far as to say he “won’t sign” several of them. There is, of course, a distinction between not signing something and actually vetoing legislation. The governor lacks a pocket veto and if he takes no action on the bill, it becomes law anyway.
Some of the bills he won’t be signing include:
Sales Tax Redistribution Bill...
NC Religious Freedom Restoration Act...
Dix Park Renegotiation. read details
Sen. Jeff Jackson has Senate to himself
By Jim Morrill Feb. 17, 2015
Sen. Jeff Jackson has had a busy day.
He’s expanded Medicaid, restored university funding, approved non-partisan redistricting, made investments in wind and solar energy, outlawed puppy mills and enacted broad-based economic development.
And he may just be getting started. On a day when icy roads and a curtailed schedule kept most lawmakers home, Jackson, a Charlotte Democrat, showed up at his legislative office for a morning meeting. When his appointment failed to show, he went to work. “I thought I would fix the state,” he said read article
also see him on Rachel Maddow ---
This Southern Democrat Showed the Tea Party Who’s Boss Today
Five bills you may have missed this week, but will want to keep on your radar
Clayton Henkel February 13, 2015 Progressive Pulse
1. Omnibus Economic Development Improvements - This bill ... would restore the Film Incentive and Historic Rehabilitation Tax Credits. House Bill 89 also calls for the the state Earned Income Tax Credit to be re-established, which ended in 2014.
2. Disapprove MEC Oil and Gas Rules – This measure is intended to slow down the fracking process...
4. Curbside Voting ID’s – If you thought the omnibus voter ID bill of 2013 covered it all, you were mistaken. Senate Bill 49 would extend the need for a photo ID to those individuals who use curbside voting – typically the elderly or those with a physical handicap. If signed into law by Gov. Pat McCrory, this measure would take effect January 1, 2016. read all
Five strategies for a fiscally responsible state budget
by Alexandra Forter Sirota
NC Policy Watch
The following is excerpted from a recent BTC Brief released by the North Carolina Budget and Tax Center.
...Five years into a national economic recovery, North Carolina has failed to achieve financial stability. ...the major cause is the reduction in revenue that resulted from the 2013 tax plan passed by state lawmakers, which largely benefited well-off North Carolinians at the expense of middle- and low-income earners.
In the first 100 days of the legislative session five strategies should be at the top of policymakers’ agenda to ensure a financially responsible biennial budget is put in place...:
Here We Go! The 2015 NC General Assembly Begins
Opening Day Wrap: Swearing in before swearing at
by Laura Leslie and Mark Binker
January 14, 2015 WRAL
The 2015 session of the North Carolina General Assembly opened with friendly vibes Wednesday. Rep. Tim Moore, R-Cleveland, was elected House speaker by acclamation, and Senate President Pro Tem Phil Berger likewise faced no opposition in his re-election.
Moore and Berger then outlined their legislative priorities in a news conference that didn't carry any of the tension Berger and former House Speaker Thom Tillis, now a U.S. senator, often had last year. Republicans said they hope to focus on job creation through regulatory and tax reform and education investments. They were quick to squelch any talk of expanding Medicaid but still haven't reached an agreement on how to reform the costly health insurance system for the poor and disabled. read/watch
General Assembly should take a practical turn in 2015
January 3, 2015
The political context as the General Assembly prepares to reconvene this month is not unlike the situation in Washington. The chief executive must show he can advance his agenda with legislative leaders who have not shown him respect, and legislative leaders must avoid swinging so far right it hurts their chances of retaining power in 2016. But unlike lame-duck President Barack Obama, Gov. Pat McCrory must position himself to run for re-election in 2016. And unlike the do-nothing Congress, the Republican-dominated General Assembly does, and undoes, too much as it pursues an agenda that’s half voodoo economics and half tea party hysteria. For North Carolina’s sake, we hope the prospect of a presidential election with a larger and more diverse electorate will concentrate the Republican mind. Should the GOP take a more practical and less ideological turn, here are issues that ought to be on the agenda.
• Budget and taxes. Tax revenue projections indicate that Republicans cut taxes too deeply in 2013... The General Assembly should adjust the tax code to capture more revenue from where most of the recovery’s wealth is going: corporate profits and capital gains by those heavily invested in the record-breaking stock market.
• The justice system. The third branch of government has long been neglected with regard to funding, but the situation has become acute under Republican rule. The state must invest more... Meanwhile, the state’s prisons are struggling to provide humane treatment for a wave of mentally ill inmates dumped into the system because of a lack of mental health treatment facilities...
• Education. The annual whittling of the state’s support for the University of North Carolina system has to stop... Meanwhile, the state’s public school system is being choked for funds... Properly funding public education is a basic obligation of the General Assembly. Lawmakers should meet it.
• Medicaid expansion.North Carolina remains part of a shrinking group of states – now down to 23 – that refuse to expand Medicaid under the Affordable Care Act...The need is clear. Expand Medicaid. read editorial
Report: Women hold less than 25 percent of political offices in NC
BY JANE STANCILL N&O 03/23/2015
Women make up the majority of registered voters in North Carolina but are woefully underrepresented in political office, according to a new report from Meredith College. The report, called “The Status of Women in North Carolina Politics,” was released Monday, along with poll results showing Hillary Clinton might find resistance among the state’s voters in a presidential race.
The study gives a detailed accounting of women in elected office in the state. Among the findings:
▪ Women account for 54 percent of registered voters but hold less than one-quarter of all appointed and elected offices.
▪ In 44 North Carolina counties, there are no female county commissioners...
The results also show that women have actually lost ground in their representation since the 2010 midterm election. read article
Tillis votes to oppose NC native's nomination for US Attorney General; Burr concurs
by Renee Schoof
February 26, 2015 News & Observer
...The Senate Judiciary Committee voted Thursday morning to advance the nomination of Loretta Lynch as U.S. Attorney General, minus the support of fellow North Carolinians Sen. Thom Tillis and Sen. Richard Burr. The 12 to 8 vote sends her confirmation to the full Senate. All of the votes against her came from Republicans.
...In a statement announcing his intentions, Tillis said: “...it appears that she would represent little, if any, tangible policy or management difference from Attorney General Eric Holder.”
Tillis added: “By all indications, Ms. Lynch would continue to pursue the costly and frivolous lawsuit against the state of North Carolina to overturn a commonsense and constitutionally sound voter ID law.”
The Associated Press reported late in the day that Burr said he was also unable to support Lynch’s nomination, because of the voter identification lawsuit. read article
Charlotte Observer O-Pinion:
Sen. Thom Tillis opposes Loretta Lynch nomination
The War on the War on Poverty:
North Carolina conservatives are ousting the state's anti-poverty advocates
By Michael A. Cooper Jr. Feb 15, 2015
...Ranked better than average in poverty in 2005, North Carolina has since experienced the
greatest increase in concentrated poverty in the country... The Center on Poverty, Work and Opportunity was formed by [John] Edwards... and UNC Law School Dean Gene Nichol with a stated mission to “advocate for proposals, policies and services to mitigate poverty in North Carolina.” ...Then Republicans [gained] control of Raleigh for the first time since the Reconstruction. Despite the state's fifth-highest unemployment rate in the nation, legislators cut unemployment benefits, refused to expand Medicaid, slashed taxes on the rich and raised them on the poor. North Carolina fell to eleventh worst in poverty. So Nichol joined the state's Moral Mondays civil disobedience movement and began excoriating state government in columns for the News & Observer.
...With the American labor movement in decline, the last bastion of liberalism, especially in the south, is academia. But Nichol, and the center he helped build, today are on the verge of being ousted by the very same right-wing, free-market ideologues who are partly responsible for--and see no problem with--the state's spiraling poverty... Last month, the [The University of North Carolina system’s Board of Governors]
BOG forced UNC system President Tom Ross into early retirement, for no reason except need for a “leadership transition...” Later this month, the BOG will vote whether to close the Poverty Center, a goal of North Carolina Republicans since the day it was founded. read article
ICYMI: The Daily Show’s Jon Stewart washes his hands of Senator Thom Tillis
Clayton Henkel Feb. 5, 2015 Progressive Pulse
Jobs, education on legislative radar, but specifics are scarce
January 24, 2015 by Mark Binker WRAL
If you boil down everything senior lawmakers have said about the upcoming legislative session over the past two weeks, the result would be three words: jobs, education, Medicaid. But anyone trying to divine the specific proposals the General Assembly will push through this year would be hard-pressed to find someone really in the know willing to make a hard-and-fast commitment to a particular bill or proposal. "We'll be getting together as soon as we get back," said Senate Majority Leader Harry Brown, adding that Senate Republicans are still working on their legislative agenda. The House, too, is still developing its list of legislative priorities...
Lawmakers will begin filing bills on Wednesday, a process that will continue throughout the spring. But only a handful are likely to be heard, debated and passed this year. Many will see the most attention the day they are first posted online before being consigned to the legislative dustbin. As well, legislators say they are looking for some direction from the state's chief executive. read article
The defining policy question of 2015
1/13/2015 by Rob Schofield NC Policy Watch
...it is not at all difficult to forecast either the key issue or the central political figure of the drama that is to come. The issue is Medicaid expansion and the politician is Governor Pat McCrory... To say that the decision on whether to expand Medicaid under the Affordable Care Act is the issue of 2015 is not to say that it is the only important issue of 2015... One completely unique factor, however, explains why no other single issue is ultimately as important to determining the near term future of North Carolina – ... it will save human lives – lots and lots of them. read article
Legislative website gets a new look for the New Year
Clayton Henkel Friday, January 2, 2015
The official web site of the North Carolina General Assembly has been given a facelift. The redesigned site makes it easier for North Carolinians to follow chamber activity, stay up-to-date on committee meetings, and communicate with House and Senate members. [Above] are four features that political junkies and citizens alike should appreciate. read post here
GOOD NEWS ABOUT DEMOCRATS!
DECEMBER 12, 2014
CONGRATULATIONS TO THE TEN COUNTIES WHICH PRODUCED
THE HIGHEST PERCENTAGE
OF VOTES FOR SENATOR HAGAN IN 2014!
HIGHEST PERCENTAGE –
DURHAM COUNTY – 76.62%
COUNTY CHAIR TRACY BURNS-VANN
pictured above with Michelle Obama
read Good News About Democrats here
Weekly Wrap: House Republicans choose Moore
State House Republicans chose Rep. Tim Moore, R-Cleveland, as their candidate for speaker, replacing Rep. Thom Till in January, when Tillis moves on to the U.S. Senate.
Supreme Court Associate Justice Cheri Beasley won her re-election campaign against Forsyth County lawyer Mike Robinson despite vote tabulation errors discovered in several counties throughout the state.
State Auditor Beth Wood terminated a contract with MIT economics professor Jonathan Gruber after the health-care policy expert came under fire for controversial comments involving how the Affordable Care Act was passed in 2010.
read article/more links
Values group dings McCrory over constitutional claims
Nov. 14, 2014 By Mark Binker WRAL
A group of social conservatives blasted Republican Gov. Pat McCrory on Friday, contrasting his efforts to preserve his office's constitutional prerogatives against earlier "inaction" related to defending North Carolina's ban on same-sex marriage. "Where was the Governor's concern for the defense of our Constitution when a rogue judge enjoined the Marriage Amendment that 61 percent of NC voters passed?" Tami Fitzgerald, director of the North Carolina Values Coalition, said in a news release.
It is unusual to see a key conservative interest group openly critical a sitting Republican governor, particularly one who has sided with them on issues such as abortion, and could be a troubling sign for McCrory in advance of the 2016 gubernatorial campaign. read article
N.C. officials host closed meeting on drilling
November 6, 2014 10:15 pm
Associated Press/ Winston Salem Journal
Officials from North Carolina, South Carolina and Virginia met privately Thursday with federal regulators and groups funded by oil and gas companies to discuss plans for drilling off the Atlantic coast. A coalition of environmental groups sought to be allowed inside the Mid-Atlantic Outer Continental Shelf Oil and Gas Five-Year Program meeting, which is being held at the N.C. Museum of Natural Sciences in Raleigh. Reporters were allowed to attend the end of the session only to hear closing remarks by Gov. Pat McCrory, but only after a police officer posted at the door checked their credentials. By then, many of the 60 people on the list of invited attendees had left...
"We can't recall any other administration convening a meeting of public officials to talk about a public process for developing a public resource, held in a public location, that is closed to the public," said Dustin Chicurel-Bayard, spokesman for the North Carolina Sierra Club. "It's hard to understand why the McCrory administration is being so secretive and shutting the public out of the conversation about the future of our coast." read article
Seven mildly encouraging signs buried in the Republican victory parade
11/6/2014 by Chris Fitzsimon
NC Policy Watch
The folks on the Right are still celebrating the big Republican victories around the country and in North Carolina Tuesday. And they have a lot to be happy about, defeating Democratic Senator Kay Hagan, taking over the U.S. Senate, and keeping losses in the General Assembly below projections and maintaining their supermajorities in both chambers. Pundits and commentators are hailing the results as a massive Republican wave in a record turnout election that’s a complete rejection of President Obama’s agenda that leaves little doubt about what the voters want their leaders to do in the next two years.
But no election results are ever that simple and these aren’t either. In fact, despite the overwhelming success of conservative candidates there are a host of places where progressives can find some solace in the results and logical explanations for what happened. read article
Lawmakers peeved over surprise makeover to House chamber
Nov. 12, 2014 WRAL
By Laura Leslie
Outgoing state House Speaker Thom Tillis authorized extensive changes to the House chamber without discussing it with fellow lawmakers. The $125,000 makeover includes walling off six of the 13 sets of double doors to the 51-year-old chamber and replacing the iconic red velvet drapes behind the speaker's dais with wood paneling. Rep. Grier Martin, D-Wake, said he first noticed the plastic sheeting in the House chamber last week but didn't think much about it. "My assumption was that they were just doing some limited maintenance work, cleaning some things up," Martin said Wednesday. Then the drywall started going up over masonry walls and large wooden doors, and people in and around the Legislative Building started talking about the extent of the renovation.
Rep. Julia Howard, R-Davie, said the red drapes have hung in the chamber for decades. "I am shocked that they're taken down. I'm really shocked," Howard said. "I certainly hope they haven't been destroyed. That's a piece of our history, a very important piece of our history, and it does disturb me." Kory Goldsmith, interim legislative services director, said the drapes are slated to be sold soon as state surplus.
The House chamber is one of the most famous rooms in North Carolina. Thousands of students tour it each year as part of their history curriculum. Yet, Howard, a member of House leadership, said she had no idea the changes were coming. Neither did several other House Republican and Democratic lawmakers WRAL News contacted. ... [Ann] Roberts's statement said the changes "mirror" those made in the state Senate chamber during a $2 million renovation in 2006. However, senators voted on that renovation before work started. Also, the state budget wasn't as tight as it is now, and Tillis, who was elected last week to the U.S. Senate, won't be back in Raleigh to answer his critics on the issue. Martin said he has asked House Republicans to stop the renovation before it goes any further. read article
NC General Assembly: Democrats pull off upsets but can't change GOP control in legislature
BY COLIN CAMPBELL November 4, 2014
Democrats took a Wake County N.C. House seat and scored a few upsets elsewhere in the state, but the victories weren’t enough to change Republican control of the General Assembly...
The legislative races likely won’t have a major effect on the power dynamic on Jones Street. Both the House and Senate have had veto-proof Republican majorities for the past two years. Republicans entered the elections with 77 seats in the 120-member House and 33 seats in the 50-member Senate...
Democrats needed to pick up five seats in the House and four in the Senate to end the GOP supermajority. In the House, results indicated the party would take three... In the Senate, Democrats weren’t able to get any Republican-held seats. Meanwhile, Democratic Sen. Gene McLaurin of Rockingham lost to his challenger, Republican Tom McInnis...
The supermajority has allowed Republicans in the legislature to override several vetoes from Gov. Pat McCrory during his first two years in office. With results indicating the supermajority will remain, the governor could struggle to wield influence in the legislative branch. Taylor said that the next legislature will still have an incentive to work with McCrory: helping the governor win over voters in 2016. “My suspicion is that the Republicans will work very hard to make sure McCrory is reelected,” he said. “You don’t want to force him into vetoes or put him in tough spots.”
Democrats had hoped that ending the supermajorities would help moderate Republican lawmakers, who are more likely to compromise. read article
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