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July 3, 2019 Legislative Update

The big news in Raleigh last week was the state budget. The week began with a bit of negotiating and a lot of posturing by legislative leaders and Governor Cooper. By the week’s end, the General Assembly had sent its budget to the Governor, and he had vetoed it, calling it an “astonishing failure of common sense and common decency.”

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June 25, 2019 Legislative Update

What a strange session it has been so far! Legislators have been telling lobbyists to wait until the budget is finished to get their bills through committee and have also advised most groups to try to bring consensus bills to the table. Now suddenly, without the budget being completed, legislators are now saying that they are wrapping up and the bills better move soon or will have to wait until the short session.

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June 11, 2019 Legislative Update

As the House and Senate negotiate the budget, only a handful of bills have been able to move through the legislative process with most still in Rules.

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May 29, 2019 Legislative Update

The legislature has continued business at a slower pace following the heavy schedules for both chambers during Crossover and the release of the House’s proposed budget. With the House having passed its version of the budget, the Senate has been spending most of their time crafting theirs. Senate leadership held a press conference Tuesday morning laying out the broad outlines of their plan.

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May 14, 2019 Legislative Update

Last Thursday was the General Assembly’s crossover deadline, the date by which bills without a financial element must move from one chamber to another in order to stay alive for the session. Usually, this is a week filled with late nights and craziness, but this session they actually planned ahead and moved bills quickly the week before so it was surprisingly calm.

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May 8, 2019 Legislative Update

Last week was extremely intense as up to 17 committee meetings happened each day with 30-50 bills being considered in those committees.

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April 26, 2019 Legislative Update

This week has felt like the calm before the storm or maybe the eye of a hurricane! The House and Senate were both out on “spring break” for the first part of the week and then the House came in on Thursday and started releasing their budget proposal.

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April 19, 2019 Legislative Update

Well it has been quite an interesting couple of weeks. We have been under an avalanche of bills that have been filed over the last few weeks, many of them making major policy changes. Meanwhile, committees are meeting with a renewed level of intensity as they try to move bills before the impending cross-over deadline of May 9th, which requires bills to move out of one chamber or the other to remain eligible for consideration the rest of the session.

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April 16, 2019 Legislative Update

The General Assembly had a busy legislative week, with the Senate marking its bill filing deadline on Wednesday, April 3rd. The Senate has filed a total of 676 bills this session, and the House has filed a total of 626 bills, with its bill filing deadlines coming up on April 16th and April 23rd. Things are likely to get even busier as crossover, the date by which legislation must pass from the originating chamber to the other chamber, approaches. The 2019 crossover deadline is May 9th.

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April 9, 2019 Legislative Update

It’s been a busy time at the General Assembly as hundreds of bills were rushed to be filed to meet the Senate’s bill filing deadline on April 2nd. The House will have a few more weeks to prepare for their bill filing deadline on Tuesday, April 16th (bills not related to the budget). Once both chambers’ deadlines have passed, legislators will turn their attention to meeting the May 9th crossover date, by which time bills must be passed by the chamber in which it was introduced in order to remain eligible for the remainder of the 2-year session, unless the bill has a fiscal impact on the State.

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March 27, 2019 Legislative Update

The budget process continues to inch forward. Last week House Speaker Tim Moore and Senate leader Phil Berger announced that top legislative leaders have agreed that expenditures for the year starting July 1st will be just over $24 billion. That amount represents a roughly 3.5 percent increase over this year's budget, but less that the amount proposed by Governor Cooper.

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March 20, 2019 Legislative Update

The past week featured a number of high-profile news stories emanating from the NC political world, while legislative progress was slow by comparison. With the exception of a bill to delay implementation of the State’s new Voter ID law (which was introduced in the Senate, passed by both chambers and signed into law in a four-day span), most other notable issues were marked by news of movement (or lack thereof) as opposed to visible progress.

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March 12, 2019 Legislative Update

On March 6th, Governor Roy Cooper released his $25.2 billion budget proposal for the coming biennium, a proposal he claims would provide “visionary investments” in education, health care, and infrastructure.

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March 5, 2019 Legislative Update

Last week kicked off with Governor Cooper’s State of the State address to the General Assembly, where he reinforced familiar themes, including Medicaid expansion, increased spending on education and rural broadband. Cooper also called for more cooperation between Republicans and Democrats.

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February 27, 2019 Legislative Update

The big news around Raleigh last week was the long-awaited State Board of Elections hearing on the controversy surrounding the election in the 9th Congressional District. After months of investigation into fraud and four days of testimony, Republican Mark Harris announced that he believed a new election should take place. The Board unanimously ordered the new election, with a timeframe to be decided later. This will not be the end of the matter though as criminal investigations are on-going and new information was released during the hearing about what the campaign and the candidate did or did not know about the absentee ballot program.

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February 20, 2019 Legislative Update

The session is expected to ramp up this week as committees begin to move into regular business and floor votes begin. It may appear that session has started slowly based upon the number of committee meetings and the bills that have made it to the floor of one chamber of another, but the real activity is taking place in legislators offices and conference rooms around the legislative complex as proposed bills are being discussed, debated and negotiated. This is a critical time for lobbyists to get their bills filed by the “right” sponsor and to work out as many issues as possible before the bill is filed officially. Many deals are being made right now that will impact legislation as it moves through the process.

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February 12, 2019 Legislative Update

The 2019 Long Session is continuing its slow start despite a steady stream of newly introduced bills and important health policy developments. On the health front, Medicaid continues to take center stage. Gov. Roy Cooper has been pushing expansion, but some Senate leaders remain opposed to the idea, citing concerns that costs would ultimately be shifted from the federal government to the state. Rep. Donny Lambeth, R-Forsyth, has indicated he plans to reintroduce his "Carolina Cares" bill. “Carolina Cares” would expand Medicaid in exchange for work requirements for some recipients to access benefits.

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September 26, 2018 Legislative Update

What a strange trip it has been... The second year of the 2017-2018 General Assembly was marked by amazing speed and a surprising amount of substantive legislation. In about six weeks, they approved over 80 bills, approved a budget, and during the last two weeks of the session, they handled dozens of local bills and approved six constitutional amendments for the November ballot. In all my years at the General Assembly...

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July 3, 2018 Legislative Update

The 2018 session of the General Assembly adjourned around noon on June 29th, a little over 6 weeks since the session convened. The last week was supposed to be relatively uneventful: only veto overrides, local bills, and Constitutional amendments (legislation that does not require action by the Governor) would be taken up after the previous week’s flurry of statewide bills. Those last days of session became memorable, however, as...

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