THE RALEIGH REPORT
June 15, 2017
Publicly, it has been a quiet week at the General Assembly. Most of the work and activity has been behind-the-scenes as House and Senate Republicans work out the differences between their two chambers' budgets.
State Budget Update
We expect to vote on a final budget early next week.
A state budget shows what is important to us and what are priorities are. Always keep that in mind as you hear and learn about the budget.
Passing a budget takes several steps.
• Step #1: Governor Cooper introduces his budget proposal.
• Step #2: The Senate passes its budget proposal.
• Step #3: The House passes its budget proposal.
• Step #4: The House and Senate work to agree on a common budget. (Happening now.)
• Step #5: The Governor signs the budget or vetoes it. If he signs, it is law.
• Step #6: If the Governor vetoes, the House & Senate will try to override his veto.
• Step #7: If House & Senate override, their budget is law. If not, we start over.
Right now, we have three complete budget proposals: Governor Cooper’s, House Republicans, and Senate Republicans.
Check out the differences in this handy chart.
Governor Cooper Talks Redistricting, I-77 Tolls, Budgets And Gun Bill - WFAE
U.S. cuts could hurt N.C. for next decade, study says - Winston-Salem Chronicle
Leaders brace for severe cuts to poverty programs - Winston-Salem Chronicle
Editorial: Behind closed doors, N.C. budget negotiators perpetuate a culture of neglect - Capital Broadcasting Company
Redistricting and Special Elections
The United States Supreme Court tossed out a number of State Senate and State House legislative districts for racially gerrymandering voters. North Carolina will have to redraw the illegal districts and doing so will change the surrounding districts. The court’s decision was unanimous.
What this means is that most of North Carolina, but not all, will have new districts for the next election. The General Assembly will draw the new districts, but a three judge federal court will have to approve them. The court could approve the legislative districts or reject them in favor of a more fair and legal plan.
An open question is whether we will have a special election. The three judge panel originally ruled that immediate special elections were needed so North Carolina could have legally-elected legislators as soon as possible. The U.S. Supreme Court asked the three judge panel to reconsider the order and the reasoning behind that order. In the coming weeks the courts will determine whether we have a special election before the 2018 Short Session or not.
Black caucus calls for quickly redrawn election maps - The News & Observer
Cooper calls for early special elections under new legislative voting maps - WRAL
Redistricting reform gets a cold shoulder in Raleigh - Greensboro News & Record
Editorial: Independent panel the only solution to gerrymandering - Wilson Times
What might have been with fair districts (Paul O’Connor column) - Asheville Citizen-Times
Editorial: Gerrymandering proceeds in an endless loop - Fayetteville 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.