Perspective North Carolina General Assembly Update | July 8, 2022
KTS Strategies brings years of experience providing clients in a diverse range of industries with comprehensive policy and advocacy advice before federal, state, and local agencies. In North Carolina, we advise local municipalities, corporate transportation entities, nonprofit organizations, statewide associations, government vendors, and Fortune 500 companies before the North Carolina General Assembly and executive branch.
Below is an update on the activity at the NC General Assembly this week. Please feel free to contact a member of the team with any questions or visit ktsstrategies.com to learn more about our services.
Legislature Adjourns 2022 Short Session
The North Carolina General Assembly concluded most of the work for the 2022 legislative short session on Friday, July 1. The adjournment resolution (SJR917) reconvenes the legislature on July 26 for two days. The resolution also allows for the General Assembly to return once each month for the remainder of the year. Items that can be considered during those sessions are limited to things such as reconsideration of bills vetoed by the Governor, appointments bills, election bills, and conference reports.
Compared to previous sessions, the legislature passed a minimal amount of bills during the short session. Governor Cooper has signed twenty-three bills into law. Twenty-six bills are currently awaiting action from the Governor. A large number of local bills, mainly dealing with deannexation/annexation issues, were passed by the General Assembly. Local bills are not sent to the Governor for consideration.
With the legislature adjourning, we will no longer be sending updates on a weekly basis. You will continue to receive legislative updates from us periodically as legislative actions occur.
The budget for the 2022-2023 Fiscal Year passed third and final reading last Friday, July 1 with a vote of 82-25 in the House and 36-8 in the Senate. Twenty House Democrats and eleven Senate Democrats voted in favor of the proposal. Currently, we are awaiting action from Governor Cooper on the budget. He has until July 11 to sign or veto, otherwise the bill would become law without his signature. If the Governor vetoes the bill, we anticipate the General Assembly will attempt to override the veto in one of the sessions allowed in the adjournment resolution. An override requires a three-fifths majority vote. This means Republicans need three Democrats to vote for the override in the House and two in the Senate. Below are the links to the full budget document and money report.
Supreme Court Cases
Amidst a numerous amount of Supreme Court decisions released over the last several weeks, two cases originating in North Carolina have made their way to the nation’s highest court.
Berger v North Carolina Conference of the NAACP – In 2018, a ballot referendum in North Carolina was used to implement Voter ID statewide. The issue has since worked its way up through the NC Supreme Court and ultimately was appealed to the US Supreme Court. Attorney General Stein was responsible for defending the Voter ID amendment, a provision he very publicly opposed. NC House Speaker Tim Moore (R-Cleveland) and Senate President Pro Tem Phil Berger (R-Rockingham) began pushing back on the idea of state laws being defended by state officials that were not committed to defending the provisions.
On June 23, the Supreme Court ruled that North Carolina state legislative leaders have the right to intervene in litigation to defend the constitutionality of the state’s voter ID law. This 8-1 decision is pivotal for state legislatures that operate in a politically divided state, such as North Carolina, and enables them to defend their state’s laws in the way they see fit.
Moore v Harper – The Supreme Court announced its intent to hear this case when the Court returns after their summer break. Moore v Harper calls into question the North Carolina Supreme Court’s ability to review and reject maps drawn by the North Carolina General Assembly. Republican leaders in North Carolina point to the elections clause in the U.S. Constitution that states, “the times, places and manner of holding elections for senators and representatives, shall be prescribed in each state by the legislature therof; but Congress may at any time by law make or alter such regulations.” The outcome of this case could have a nationwide impact on elections.