September 20, 2019
Budget Override Update
In contrast to the “September surprise” veto override executed by the NC House last week, Senate leaders decided not to attempt an override vote in their chamber this week. Then, they decided to leave town and not come back until September 30th. Following that lead, House leaders announced Wednesday they would have non-voting sessions the remainder of this week and mostly likely next week, as well. When asked by reporters why such a long break given the budget veto has not been overridden in the Senate, the body’s top leader, Sen. Phil Berger, said “there hasn't been a chance to see if the votes are there because of absences.” He added, “We figured, give everybody a chance to spend more time at home, come back fresh.” Berger did say the Senate had several key bills to address upon return, including the Farm Act, Duke Energy rate-setting bill, Certificate of Need reform and the taxpayer rebate bill. He added that additional “mini-budget” bills are also possible, which is interesting given the pending override vote on the budget veto. Reminder, the budget does not become effective unless both chambers successfully override the Governor’s veto.
NC Redistricting – Redrawn Legislative Maps Submitted
NC lawmakers met the court-ordered Sept. 18th deadline to submit redrawn legislative maps for the 2020 elections. The GOP-led legislature was ordered to create new political maps using special parameters meant to fix what judges called "extreme partisan gerrymanders." The maps are now under review by the three-judge panel that issued the redraw order. If the panel agrees the maps meet the parameters, the new districts will be used for the 2020 elections. Otherwise, new ones will be drawn by a court-appointed expert. No word on when the court will rule on the new maps, although a decision is expected within the next couple weeks.
New Congressmen Sworn-In
For the first time in months, North Carolina has a full Congressional delegation in place. Following special Congressional elections held last week, Greg Murphy and Dan Bishop took the oath of office on the floor of the U.S. House this past Tuesday night. Congressman Murphy is fulfilling the term left unfinished in District 3 due to the passing of the late Cong. Walter B. Jones, Jr. Congressman Bishop is filling the District 9 post that has been empty since the last election due to an absentee ballot investigation involving the former GOP nominee. Both Murphy and Bishop officially resigned their seats in the NC legislature on Monday. Replacements for their seats in the House and Senate have not yet been determined, but will be decided by the GOP Executive Committees in their respective legislative districts.
NOTE: Due to the week-long break the General Assembly has taken with no votes scheduled until Sept. 30, there will be NO Old North State Report published next week.
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