Old North State Report - June 10, 2016
The special primary (caused by a court ruling on gerrymandering) held on Tuesday for congressional races contributed to a lighter legislative week. All of North Carolina’s federal incumbents were re-nominated with the exception of Rep. Renee Ellmers (R-2nd) who lost to Rep. George Holding (R-13th). Rep. Robert Pittenger’s (R-9th) narrow victory is subject to a recount. Additionally it was decided that incumbent state Supreme Court Justice Bob Edmunds (R) will face challenger Michael Morgan (D) in a November race that is officially non-partisan.
Legislators were also digesting the different House and Senate versions of the state budget (House Bill 1030 — “2016 Appropriations Act”) which will be reconciled in the coming weeks. Whether the General Assembly can meet the leadership’s goal of finishing by the end of the fiscal year on June 30th remains to be seen. The conferees were named and certain key members are expected to begin meeting, formally or informally, soon:
Proposed committee substitutes which involve wholesale changes to bills are anticipated at this time of the session. They often have nothing to do with the previous subject matter. This week House Bill 161 (“Adopt a State Cat”) was replaced by another Senate push to phase out the certificate of need process which governs when health providers can open new facilities or buy large pieces of medical equipment. The new bill is expected to be heard in the Senate Health committee next week although the House is unlikely to embrace significant changes at this time.
The Senate and House are advancing different versions of their annual regulatory reform measures. Both current editions are scheduled to be heard in committee next week and the provisions are subject to change.
House Bill 169 (“Regulatory Reduction Act of 2016) is actually the Senate’s version:
Senate Bill 303 (“Regulatory Reform Act of 2016”) is the vessel for the House’s version:
The discussion surrounding House Bill 2 (“Public Facilities Privacy and Security Act”) has been relatively muted in recent weeks after a flurry of lawsuits were filed. Rumors suggest that House leaders favor local referendums and Senate leaders support increased penalties for assault as possible precursors to modifying the non-bathroom provisions in the legislation. Some observers wonder if the controversy has dimmed — at least temporarily — since the Obama Administration issued its national directive to schools and most expect the high profile issue to ultimately play out in the courts and in the upcoming election.
The articles published in this newsletter are intended only to provide general information on the subjects covered. The contents should not be construed as legal advice or a legal opinion. Readers should consult with legal counsel to obtain specific legal advice based on particular situations.