THE RALEIGH REPORT
November 25, 2019
With all the disruptions and forced migrations around the world and despite the internal turmoil in our own nation, I'm grateful that I live in the United States of America where we settle our differences at the ballot box and in the courts.
And despite strong and sometimes spiteful disagreements right here at home, I'm thankful for the North Carolina visionaries over the years that move our state toward equality for all. I'm proud of Governor Roy Cooper who leads with courage, compassion and wisdom. It’s a good time to renew our resolve to keep pushing for a state and a nation that practices Liberty and Justice for all.
I wish you all a Happy Thanksgiving and Happy Holidays ahead.
Below is a summary of remaining key issues.
Still not quite adjourned
The NC House and Senate will reconvene on January 14 to consider the budget, health care, veto over-rides and perhaps more conference reports. We should also close out the 2019 session to a date certain to start the 2020 short session.
The 2020 candidate filing period is in December. That means in the January session, all incumbents running for re-election will know their opponents. With health care on the agenda, some are speculating that if none of the incumbents have a far-right primary challenge, the Health Care for Working Families might be considered.
House Speaker Tim Moore said on more than one occasion, he would call for a vote on this bill if the House would over-ride Governor Cooper's veto of the budget bill. Moore still hasn't followed through on his promise. The bill would pass easily with 25 Republicans and all 55 Democrats voting for it; but Speaker Moore wants at least 35 of his 65 Republicans to support the bill. So far, he does not have the support of his own caucus to vote on the Republican version of Medicaid Expansion.
There are still some important budget issues unresolved. The UNC system, from faculty and staff to renovation and repair, has not been mentioned in any of the mini budgets that have been signed into law.
In addition to the vetoed budget bill, there are at least eight other bills that Governor Copper has vetoed that will be considered. For details, visit https://www.ncleg.gov.
Maps for NC House and Senate Districts are set. The State Supreme Court declined to hear an appeal filed by Common Cause to deal with two districts that remain extreme gerrymanders. Although 19 counties remain illegally gerrymandered, incumbent Democrats are almost all in more favorable districts. Overall, the maps improved Democrat’s chances of regaining the majority in 2020.
The US Congressional district map is an issue. These maps originally went to the US Supreme Court and were found unconstitutional based on racial gerrymandering. The current case is in the North Carolina Court system and based on violating the State Constitution.
When the NC Court of Appeals approved the re-designed Congressional map submitted by the General Assembly that favored 8 seats for Republicans and five seats for Democrats, a group supported by the National Redistricting Committee, filed an appeal. A decision is not expected until sometime in December.
The NC State Board of Elections announced that if the new maps were not approved by December 15, the primary for US Congressional seats would be moved out. That would result in two expensive primary elections for North Carolina and probably a very low turnout for what would be a single vote election.
Over the next few weeks, I'll issue reports on more of the major issues from this session. Again, Happy Thanksgiving.
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 Young Bae 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.
Please remember that you can listen to committee meetings and press conferences on the General Assembly's website at www.ncleg.net. Once on the site, select "Audio," and then make your selection – House Chamber, Senate Chamber, Appropriations Committee Room or Press Conference Room.