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Jan 29, 2021

North Carolina General Assembly Week in Review

This week, Governor Roy Cooper announced that North Carolina will remain under an extended stay at home order. The extended Executive Order requires all residents to continue to wear masks in public and work from home unless essential, as well as a nightly curfew from 10 p.m. until 5 a.m. Social distancing and mass gathering limits will remain in place. The new order also includes an extension of the moratorium on evictions for citizens who are unable to pay rent due to the pandemic. The extension is expected to last until February 28, at which time Governor Cooper will announce an extension or a new order. 

As of Thursday morning, in the state of North Carolina, there were 739,500 confirmed cases of the coronavirus, 8,648,423 completed tests, 8,959 deaths, and 3,238 current hospitalizations. As we all continue to feel the effects of the global pandemic and adjust to a new normal, we want to highlight a few ways our clients across North Carolina have worked to support residents and make this time a little easier for those throughout the state. Read more about what our clients are doing to help by clicking here.

For more information on COVID-19 in North Carolina, click here to visit the Department of Health and Human Services website, and be sure to stay up to date on the latest federal guidelines issued by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) by clicking here.


Session Return

Lawmakers were back in Raleigh this week, but just for a few days, as legislators met to begin their work period. The General Assembly held no-vote sessions Wednesday and Thursday as members began filing the first bills of the new session. A number of bills were filed, ranging from local, education,  and small business relief bills to COVID-19 legislation. 

Senate Democratic leaders expressed that their priorities for this session will be Medicaid expansion and COVID-19 relief, with a particular focus on economic recovery. Senate Democrats also signaled that a statewide bond for school construction with bi-partisan support could be on the table as the session progresses.

Republican leadership in both chambers voiced the importance of agreeing on COVID-19 legislation to help aid communities across the state — particularly for small businesses and rural areas that have been hard hit. The state budget will be a point of contention as both parties work out differing opinions on how to allocate new funds and the use of the state's $4 billion "rainy day". Republican leadership has favored using the state surplus to create a new two year budget while Democrats have been staunch in efforts to allocate it immediately to COVID-19 relief. 

Both parties agree that the urgent need for broadband expansion across the state has been greatly exacerbated by the pandemic. Lawmakers from both sides are expected to come together on a funding mechanism to expand internet connectivity across the state as the pandemic looms. 


Joint Legislative Oversight Committee on Unemployment Insurance

The Joint Legislative Oversight Committee on Unemployment Insurance met Tuesday, January 26. The committee heard a presentation from Pryor Gibson, Assistant Secretary of the Division of Employment Security (DES) , on the Department's implementation of unemployment insurance (UI). 

At the beginning of the pandemic, DES was overwhelmed by the number of claims, calls, and applications it was receiving. In April, the Department received 54,000 calls in one day. In 2019, DES paid out about $160 million in UI benefits. At the end of 2020, DES has paid out $8 billion to 1.4  million North Carolinians who applied for UI due to the impact of the pandemic. Assistant Secretary Gibson told the committee that DES continues to see about 34,000 claims per week. DES came under fire from the legislature throughout 2020 as legislators heard from their constituents about long wait times, delayed payments, and the inability to connect with a live DES representative. Since then, DES has doubled their workforce, implemented new technology, and revamped their operations to accommodate the unprecedented need. 

Legislators were concerned about overpayments and the increased payout to fraudulent applicants. Assistant Secretary Gibson told the committee that about $69 million has gone out either due to overpayment or fraud, but the Department has been successful in recovering some of the money. Legislators applauded the Department's efforts through the unprecedented time, but urged them to strive to be perfect, promising that the General Assembly would help them however they could. 


House Committees 

Monday, Speaker of the House Tim Moore (R-Cleveland) announced the following House Committee assignments for the 2021-2022 session:

Agriculture

Representative Dixon; Senior Chair; Representative McNeely; Chair; Representatives Brisson, Strickland, Wray; Vice Chairs; Representatives Ager, Alexander, Bell, Brody, Elmore, Everitt, Gillespie, Goodwin, Graham, K. Hall, Humphrey, Hunter, B. Jones, Kidwell, Lofton, Majeed, Penny, Reives, Sasser, K. Smith, Watford, Yarborough.

Alcoholic Beverage Control

Representative Moffitt; Chair; Representatives Boles, Hardister, Willingham; Vice Chairs; Representatives Alexander, Bell, Bradford, Dahle, Fisher, Hurley, Meyer, Saine, Turner, Zachary.

Appropriations

Representatives Arp, Lambeth, Saine; Senior Chairs; Representatives Brisson, Bumgardner, Elmore, Faircloth, K. Hall, Strickland; Chairs; Representatives K. Baker, Boles, Cleveland, Dixon, Goodwin, Hardister, Hastings, Hurley, Iler, Johnson, B. Jones, McElraft, McNeill, Potts, Riddell, Sasser, Shepard, C. Smith, Torbett, White; Vice Chairs; Representatives Adams, Adcock, Ager, Alston, Autry, A. Baker, Ball, Belk, Blackwell, Brockman, Brody, Brown, Carter, Clampitt, Cooper-Suggs, Cunningham, Dahle, Davis, Farkas, Fisher, Gailliard, Garrison, Gill, Gillespie, Graham, Greene, Hanig, Harrison, Hawkins, Humphrey, Hunt, Hurtado, Insko, John, A. Jones, Logan, Lucas, Majeed, Martin, McNeely, Meyer, Miller, Mills, Morey, Moss, Paré, Penny, Pickett, Pierce, Pittman, Pless, Quick, Reives, Richardson, Roberson, Rogers, Stevens, Terry, Turner, von Haefen, Wheatley, Willingham, Willis, Yarborough.

Appropriations, Agriculture and Natural and Economic Resources

Representative Dixon; Senior Chair; Representatives Goodwin, McElraft; Chairs; Representatives K. Hall, Strickland; Vice Chairs; Representatives Ager, Brown, Clampitt, Harrison, Humphrey, McNeely, Quick, Roberson, Turner, Yarborough.

Appropriations, Capital

Representative Hastings; Chair; Representative Arp; Vice Chair; Representatives A. Baker, Gailliard, Hurtado, Pickett, Stevens.

Appropriations, Education

Representatives Hardister, Hurley, Torbett; Chairs; Representative Elmore; Vice Chair; Representatives Adams, Ball, Brockman, Brody, Fisher, Garrison, Gill, Gillespie, Hanig, Hawkins, Hunt, Lucas, Miller, Wheatley, Willis.

Appropriations, General Government

Representatives Cleveland, Riddell; Chairs; Representative Brisson; Vice Chair; Representatives Dahle, Farkas, Logan, Majeed, Paré, Penny, Pittman, von Haefen.

Appropriations, Health and Human Services

Representatives K. Baker, Potts, Sasser, White; Chairs; Representative Lambeth; Vice Chair; Representatives Adcock, Alston, Blackwell, Cooper-Suggs, Cunningham, Insko, Mills, Pless, Terry.

Appropriations, Information Technology

Representative Johnson; Chair; Representative K. Hall; Vice Chair; Representatives Autry, B. Jones, Meyer, Saine.

Appropriations, Justice and Public Safety

Representative Boles; Senior Chair; Representatives McNeill, C. Smith; Chairs; Representatives Faircloth, Rogers; Vice Chairs; Representatives Carter, Davis, Graham, Greene, John, A. Jones, Morey, Pierce, Reives, Richardson.

Appropriations, Transportation

Representative B. Jones; Senior Chair; Representatives Iler, Shepard; Chairs; Representative Bumgardner; Vice Chair; Representatives Belk, Martin, Moss, Willingham.

Banking

Representative Kidwell; Chair; Representatives Carney, Howard; Vice Chairs; Representatives Bradford, Butler, Everitt, Szoka, Zenger.

Commerce

Representative Sauls; Chair; Representatives Johnson, Pierce, Tyson; Vice Chairs; Representatives Adams, Adcock, Autry, Butler, Clemmons, Cunningham, Everitt, Farkas, Garrison, K. Hall, Howard, Iler, Kidwell, Lofton, Moss, Shepard, Strickland, Terry, Winslow.

Education – Community Colleges

Representative Hurley; Chair; Representatives Brody, Hunt, Sauls; Vice Chairs; Representatives Adams, Blackwell, Clemmons, Elmore, Farkas, Gailliard, Hanig, Pittman, R. Smith, Turner, Tyson, Zachary.

Education – K-12

Representatives Blackwell, Torbett; Chairs; Representatives Brockman, Fisher, Wheatley, Willis; Vice Chairs; Representatives K. Baker, Ball, Bradford, Clemmons, Elmore, Gailliard, Gill, Graham, Hunt, Iler, Johnson, Lambeth, Lucas, McNeely, Meyer, Miller, Potts, Riddell, K. Smith, Strickland, White.

Education – Universities

Representative Hardister; Chair; Representatives Hastings, Pickett, Terry; Vice Chairs; Representatives Alexander, K. Baker, Carney, Clampitt, Davis, Harris, Howard, Insko, Lambeth, Martin, Mills, Morey, K. Smith, Zachary.

Election Law and Campaign Finance Reform

Representative Mills; Chair; Representatives Dahle, Szoka, Warren; Vice Chairs; Representatives Ball, Blackwell, Brockman, Davis, Faircloth, Fisher, Hanig, Harrison, Iler, Insko, McNeill, Riddell, Rogers, K. Smith, Willingham, Willis, Zenger.

Energy and Public Utilities

Representatives Arp, Szoka; Chairs; Representatives Miller, Paré, Watford; Vice Chairs; Representatives Alexander, Bell, Brisson, Brockman, Brown, Carney, Cunningham, Dixon, Graham, D. Hall, Harrison, Hastings, Hawkins, Howard, Humphrey, B. Jones, Pierce, Richardson, Riddell, Saine, Sauls, Setzer, Strickland, Winslow, Wray.

Environment

Representatives McElraft, Yarborough; Chairs; Representatives K. Hall, Harrison, Iler; Vice Chairs; Representatives Ager, Alexander, Davis, Dixon, Goodwin, Hurtado, Insko, Kidwell, Pittman, Quick, Terry, Turner, Wheatley, White.

Ethics

Representatives Sauls, Wray; Chairs; Representative Setzer; Vice Chair; Representatives Carney, Dahle, Hunter, Insko, Saine, Yarborough, Zachary.

Families Children and Aging Policy

Representatives Carter, Hunter; Chairs; Representative Hurley; Vice Chair; Representatives K. Baker, A. Baker, Cooper-Suggs, Greene, Hunt, John, Morey, Pickett, Sasser, Warren, White.

Federal Relations and American Indian Affairs

Representatives Clampitt, Graham; Chairs; Representatives Gillespie, B. Jones, Pless; Vice Chairs; Representatives Alston, Hastings, Logan, Riddell, R. Smith.

Finance

Representatives Bradford, Howard, Setzer, Szoka; Senior Chairs; Representatives Kidwell, Wray; Chairs; Representatives Tyson, Warren, Zenger; Vice Chairs; Representatives Alexander, Bell, Butler, Carney, Clemmons, Everitt, D. Hall, Harris, Hunter, Lofton, Moffitt, Sauls, K. Smith, R. Smith, Watford, Winslow, Zachary.

Health

Representatives K. Baker, Lambeth, Potts, Sasser, White; Chairs; Representatives Cunningham, Insko; Vice Chairs; Representatives Adcock, Ball, Blackwell, Brisson, Brockman, Carney, Carter, Cooper-Suggs, Dixon, Gailliard, Howard, Humphrey, Hunter, Lucas, McElraft, Moffitt, Pierce, Setzer, Shepard, K. Smith, Szoka, Tyson, Watford, Wray.

Homeland Security, Military, and Veterans Affairs

Representative Goodwin; Chair; Representatives Cleveland, Martin; Vice Chairs; Representatives Arp, Autry, Boles, Carter, Hanig, Johnson, Logan, Majeed, Meyer, Paré, Pierce, Pless, Potts, Shepard, R. Smith, von Haefen, Winslow.

Insurance

Representatives Humphrey, Setzer; Chairs; Representatives Bumgardner, Lucas, Sasser, Willingham; Vice Chairs; Representatives K. Baker, Cleveland, Garrison, Gill, Graham, K. Hall, Howard, Lambeth, McElraft, Pierce, Potts, Roberson, Tyson, Warren, Wray.

Judiciary 1

Representative Davis; Chair; Representative Mills; Vice Chair; Representatives Carter, Gill, Harrison, Hunt, A. Jones, Potts, Saine, Sauls.

Judiciary 2

Representatives Richardson, Stevens; Chairs; Representatives Greene, McNeill; Vice Chairs; Representatives Bradford, Hardister, John, Morey, Reives, C. Smith.

Judiciary 3

Representatives Rogers, Zachary; Chairs; Representative Miller; Vice Chair; Representatives Arp, Brown, Butler, Clampitt, Faircloth, Harris, Martin.

Judiciary 4

Representative Blackwell; Chair; Representative Adams; Vice Chair; Representatives Alston, Belk, Everitt, Howard, Kidwell, Lofton, McNeely, Zenger.

Land Use

Representative Brody; Chair; Representatives Carter, Warren, Winslow; Vice Chairs; Representatives Adams, Ball, Bradford, Cunningham, Dahle, Fisher, Greene, Hurtado, Moffitt.

Local Government

Representatives Hanig, Watford; Chairs; Representative Moss; Vice Chair; Representatives Ager, Autry, Boles, Faircloth, Lofton, Sasser, Setzer, R. Smith, von Haefen, Winslow.

Marine Resources and Aqua Culture

Representative Hanig; Chair; Representative Cleveland; Vice Chair; Representatives Clemmons, Goodwin, Harris, Harrison, Hawkins, Iler, Kidwell, Rogers, Yarborough.

Pensions and Retirement

Representative McNeill; Chair; Representatives Gill, C. Smith; Vice Chairs; Representatives Elmore, Hurley, Lambeth, Martin, Quick, Roberson.

Redistricting

Representative D. Hall; Chair; Representatives Richardson, Saine, Torbett; Vice Chairs; Representatives Brockman, Carney, Cooper-Suggs, Dixon, Hardister, Harrison, Hastings, Hawkins, Mills, Reives, Rogers, Sauls, Szoka, Zachary.

Regulatory Reform

Representative Riddell; Chair; Representatives Bradford, Moffitt, Yarborough; Vice Chairs; Representatives Adcock, Ager, A. Baker, Belk, Brody, Brown, Johnson, A. Jones, Kidwell, McElraft, Meyer, Paré, Stevens, Zenger.

Rules, Calendar, and Operations of the House

Representative D. Hall; Chair; Representatives Hastings, B. Jones, Szoka, Torbett; Vice Chairs; Representatives Adcock, Bell, Boles, Brisson, Bumgardner, Carney, Cunningham, Davis, Dixon, Hardister, Hunter, Mills, Paré, Quick, Reives, Richardson, Saine, Willingham, Wray.

State Government

Representative Torbett; Chair; Representatives Boles, Cleveland, Watford; Vice Chairs; Representatives A. Baker, Quick, von Haefen, Warren, Wheatley.

State Personnel

Representative Warren; Chair; Representatives Greene, Penny; Vice Chairs; Representatives Goodwin, Logan, Roberson, Willingham, Zenger.

Transportation

Representatives Iler, B. Jones, Shepard; Chairs; Representatives Cleveland, Moss, Pickett; Vice Chairs; Representatives Adams, Alston, Arp, Belk, Blackwell, Boles, Bumgardner, Butler, Carney, Faircloth, Farkas, Goodwin, Harris, Hawkins, Hunter, John, Martin, McNeill, Miller, Moffitt, Morey, Pless, Richardson, Tyson, Warren, Watford, Willis.

UNC BOG Nominations

Representative Hastings; Chair; Representatives Davis, Hardister; Vice Chairs; Representatives K. Baker, A. Jones, Lambeth, Majeed, Richardson, Sauls, Setzer, Torbett, Turner.

Wildlife Resources

Representatives Adams, Yarborough; Chairs; Representatives Clampitt, Gillespie, Turner; Vice Chairs; Representatives Ager, Brody, Cunningham, Garrison, Hurtado, Johnson, A. Jones, Lucas, Penny, Pittman, Pless, Rogers, C. Smith.

To view the full list of Senate Committee assignments please click here


Upcoming Legislative Meetings 

Monday, February 1, 2021

12:00 PM
House: Session Convenes
House STREAM

3:00 PM
Senate: Session Convenes
Senate STREAM

Friday, February 5, 2021

10:00 AM
General Statutes Commission
544 LOBSTREAM