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THE RALEIGH REPORT

June 8, 2017

This week featured a lot of controversy from redistricting to gun safety. Here are the highlights with links to articles for more information.

U.S. Supreme Court Unanimously Finds NC Legislative Districts Unconstitutional

Last year a panel of three federal court judges ruled that North Carolina House and Senate districts were unconstitutional. The districts illegally diminished the influence of African-American voters by packing those voters into a few districts. This week a unanimous U.S. Supreme Court upheld the ruling.

Redistricting can be confusing. Here is a quick guide on what it all means.

Q: What does this mean?
A: The unconstitutional districts will have to be re-drawn – which impacts a number of other districts too. Most of the state from Charlotte to the east will have new districts, including almost all urban counties.

Q: When will the districts be redrawn?
A: Governor Cooper called a special session to begin the redrawing immediately, but Republican leaders refused. The courts will have to step in.

Q: Will we have new districts in time for the 2018 elections?
A: Yes. There is also the possibility of 2017 or early 2018 special elections.

Q: 2017 elections?
A: North Carolina elections are normally in even-numbered years. But we now have had three elections held under unconstitutional maps. The courts may well order special elections prior to the 2018 legislative session so as not to have another session governed by legislators from unconstitutional districts. This is a rare move, but has happened before.

Q: Who will draw the new districts?
A: Legislators have an opportunity now to draw fair and legal districts. If we fail to do so, the courts will do so.

Justices' Ruling Could Help N Carolina Democrats Rein in GOP - NY Times

Cooper calls special session to draw new legislative district maps - News & Record

NC House, Senate cancel Cooper’s call for redistricting special session, calling it'‘unconstitutional' - News & Observer

Editorial: Will NC have a special election in 2017? - Charlotte Observer

Editorial: End the partisan games, draw legal voting districts now - Capital Broadcasting Company

Editorial: Illegal voting districts helped GOP win control of NC - News & Observer

Supporters of nonpartisan redistricting process gather at NC legislature - News & Observer

Gun Safety (HB 746)

The NC House approved 65-54 an omnibus gun bill this week. All House Democrats voted No and were joined by eight Republicans.

HB 746 was opposed by law enforcement and gun safety groups.

The bill would eliminate the requirement to obtain a permit to carry a concealed handgun in many instances. It would also expand the ability to conceal carry to 18,19, and 20 year olds.

House Democrats attempted several amendments to improve the bill or add provisions to promote gun safety. All were voted down, including an amendment to ban large capacity ammunition magazines that can be used in mass shootings, an amendment to prohibit handgun sales to those convicted of violent misdemeanors, and an amendment to require safe storage of firearms in homes with kids present.

NC House votes to loosen gun laws - WRAL

Law enforcement opposes proposal to relax concealed gun rules - WRAL

Duke Energy Requests a 15-17% Rate Hike

Duke Energy announced this week it was requesting a 15-17% rate hike to help pay for coal ash clean up, transmission system upgrades, and more conversions to natural gas. The NC Utilities Commission will decide on this request.

How can you make your voice heard?

The NC Utilities Commission has a public input process. Find out more at this website.

News Clips
Gun Safety


NC House votes to loosen gun laws - WRAL

Law enforcement opposes proposal to relax concealed gun rules - WRAL

Governor Cooper Urges More Education and Job Creation Investment

Elementary schools struggle to meet state’s new class-size rules - News & Observer

Cooper urges Republicans to put more money in his priorities - WWAY

Cooper says NC House budget 'shortchanging' the state - ABC 11

Cooper: Lawmakers need to invest more in NC - WRAL

Cooper says NC can afford a more generous budget - News & Observer

NC Gerrymandering Struck Down

Supreme Court affirms ruling striking NC legislative districts - News & Record

Supporters of nonpartisan redistricting process gather at NC legislature - News & Observer

NC House, Senate cancel Cooper’s call for redistricting special session, calling it 'unconstitutional' - News & Observer

Justices' Ruling Could Help N Carolina Democrats Rein in GOP - NY Times

Cooper calls special session to draw new legislative district maps - News & Record

Editorial: Illegal voting districts helped GOP win control of NC - News & Observer

Editorial: Will NC have a special election in 2017? - Charlotte Observer Editorial: End the partisan games, draw legal voting districts now - Capital Broadcasting Company

Misc.

Solar changes breeze through NC House - WRAL

NC fishing fight moves inland - WRAL

Arrests alone won't solve opioid problem, state AG Stein says - Asheville Citizen-Times

Surviving families of eugenics victims lose latest round in court fight to get compensation - News & Observer

How to Engage

It's tough to keep track of what is happening. Here are some ways to stay involved.

1. Call me or my legislative assistant Gina Insko at 919-733-7208 or email me at Inskola@ncleg.net with How can I get involved in the subject line.
2. Follow us on Twitter at @verlainsko and Facebook at Verla Insko.
3. Visit ncleg.net where you can see bills, listen to session, and see daily calendars.
4. Help us spread the word on social media or by forwarding this newsletter and other alerts or key news items.

As always, thank you for your support of my work in Raleigh as your representative. Please let me know of your position on issues, your suggestions for legislation and your requests for help.

Verla Insko

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Verla Insko, NC House · 300 N. Salisbury Street, Room 502 LOB · Raleigh, NC 27603-5925 ·
Phone (919) 733-7208 · Mobile (919) 618-9889 · E-mail verla.insko@gmail.com or verla.insko@ncleg.net