Jan 26, 2018
NCGA Week in Review
While interim committees continued to meet this week, the legislature
remains in session, though no votes were held in either the House or
Senate. This week in interim committees, legislators discussed topics
including safety in K-12 schools and college campuses, prison security,
agency rule making and judicial reform. Legislators have been in a special
session since January 10, however, no votes have been taken while
redistricting suits play out in the courts. Votes are expected in early
Courts Weigh in on Redistricting, Elections
There are a handful of ongoing legal cases on NC’s political maps and
elections in process. Here is where those cases currently stand:
Congressional Redistricting & Partisan Gerrymandering
Last week, the US Supreme Court
a lower-court order that would have required legislators to redraw the
state’s congressional maps this week while two similar cases are considered
by the Supreme Court. The delay remains in place while the case is
Judicial Elections & 2018 Primaries
were heard by US District Court Judge Catherine Eagles on a request to
restore NC’s 2018 judicial primaries, which were cancelled by a law passed
Legislative Redistricting & Special Master’s Maps
Last Friday, a panel of federal judges
lawmakers to use the maps drawn by a special master in this year’s
legislative elections, filing for which is set to begin on February 12.
Lawyers for the GOP
a request with the US Supreme Court to block that decision earlier this
week. Until a ruling is made, likely in early February, lawmaking will
remain at a standstill.
Administrative Procedure Oversight Committee Reviews Rules Review
Yesterday, the House Select Committee on Administrative Procedure Oversight
met to discuss portions of
HB 162: Amend Administrative Procedure Laws
that were added by the Senate during the long session.
Tell Me More
The bill would enact a number of changes to administrative procedure,
including requiring the General Assembly to approve of most administrative
rules. In June, the House voted not to concur with the changes made in the
Senate. During the meeting, members had a chance to discuss the bill with
Sen. Andy Wells (R-Catawba), who sponsored the changes made in the Senate.
Members, including Rep. Nelson Dollar (R-Wake) supported the concepts
behind the bill, such as increasing accountability and reducing regulatory
burdens on businesses, but had concerns with the complexities the
legislation may cause and the number of rules that may require legislative
approval as a result. HB 162 is eligible for consideration in the short
session or potentially in any special sessions leading up to that.
Emergency Management Committee Discusses Safety in Schools
On Thursday, the Joint Legislative Emergency Management Oversight Committee
received presentations on measures to increase safety at K-12 schools and
on community college campuses.
Tell Me More
The committee received updates both the NC Community College System and the
Department of Public Instruction (NCDPI) on efforts, to increase school
safety on their respective campuses. NCDPI Chief Financial Officer Ben
on efforts including increased training and a requirement for all local
boards of education to have a school risk management plan. NC Community
College System Vice President and Chief Financial Officer Elizabeth
that authority over law enforcement at community colleges rests in the
hands of local boards of trustees.
Judicial Redistricting Committee Releases New Maps
On Monday, the Joint Legislative Committee on Judicial Redistricting &
Reform held their second meeting on Monday where members where presented a
HB 717: Judicial Redistricting & Investment Act
, which was passed by the House in October.
the maps and questioned how districts were determined. Rep. Justin Burr
(R-Stanly) noted that only population size was considered when drawing the
proposed districts. The next step for the proposal would be consideration
by the Senate, however, redistricting cases in the courts have largely
momentum on this proposal.
Justice & Public Safety Committee Reviews Prison Safety
The Joint Legislative Oversight Committee on Justice and Public Safety
on prison security and reform from Department of Public Safety (DPS)
Secretary Erik Hooks at their meeting yesterday.
Tell Me More
The Department has taken a number of actions following two incidents
involving violence against prison staff in the last year. Following
Secretary Hooks’ opening remarks, DPS Chief Deputy Secretary of
Professional Standards Policy & Planning Pamela Cashwell
efforts to enhance security policies, reduce contraband in prison
facilities, improve training and increase hiring and retention. The
Secretary would like to establish a Prison Reform Advisory Board to make
further recommendations, and he requested that the General Assembly address
safety and security needs and concerns regarding hiring and retention.
Program Evaluation Committee Receives Reports, Draft Legislation to
The Joint Legislative Program Evaluation Oversight Committee held their
first meeting of the interim on Monday to receive four reports from the
Program Evaluation Division (PED). Rep. Craig Horn (R-Union) informed the
committee that they will be moving at a faster pace this year to draft and
recommend proposed legislation that may be introduced in the short session
based on the reports they receive.
What did the reports say?
the four reports to the committee and their recommendations:
How to increase lottery proceeds for education. The
found that NC’s lottery performance is above average and revenue could be
increased through efforts including authorizing video lottery terminals and
expanding the retailer network.
Meeting current standards for school nurses may cost up to $79 million
annually. PED made
including updating the school nurse staffing standard and requesting a
Medicaid state plan amendment to authorize Medicaid reimbursement for
services for students with certain disability plans.
PED recommended eliminating litigation costs in local education funding
dispute resolution. The
found that opportunities exist to replace litigation with a default funding
improving Ferry Division efficiency by reducing off-season crossings,
adjusting fares and using partnerships.
A Look Ahead to Next Week
Monday, January 29, 2018
2:00 PM House Select Committee on Disaster Relief
Tuesday, January 30, 2018
1:00 PM Agriculture and Forestry Awareness Study Commission
Wednesday, January 31, 2018
10:00 AM Joint Legislative Task Force on Education Finance Reform
Thursday, February 1, 21018
9:00 AM Joint Legislative Oversight Committee on Information Technology