Welcome to the Snowmageddon version of the Legislative Update. What a strange week in Raleigh with cancelled schools, legislative hearings and events. Going by twitter, the only event
at which a legislative quorum was reached this week was the Duke-UNC game; it certainly wasn’t Tuesday’s Senate Session.
We should have just stayed home this week, all of us. #snowday #snOMG
Bitter cold winter weather kept legislative activity to a minimum this week: committees were canceled and sessions had no recorded votes, with the following two exceptions:
SB 14 – dealing with the Academic Standards Review Commission, Coal Ash Management Commission, the Health Information Exchange and more, passed the House Appropriations Committee and included four friendly amendments.
SB 15 – Unemployment Insurance Law Changes passed the Senate with just a handful of Democrats dissenting. The bill increases required job-related contacts to potential employers from 2 per week to 5 per week as a determination of whether an individual is actively seeking work, which one legislator said is too high a threshold.
Not a True Story:
Despite what you may have heard, freshman Senator Jeff Jackson did not singlehandedly introduce, debate, filibuster, break filibuster, vote, ratify and enact his legislative agenda, which would expand Medicaid, restore funding to the universities, fund the film tax credits, end puppy mills (his shout out to the Governor), increase teacher pay, and more. He did, on the other hand, create an active Twitter feed that delighted his constituents and North Carolina Democrats, and garnered national attention, including BuzzFeed , Rachel Maddow and Fox News. Senate Rules Chair Tom Apodaca jokingly called Sen. Jackson “North Carolina’s hardest working senator” during the Senate session he was also in.
We are so looking forward to a regular week next week with committee hearings, full calendars, and less time to ponder frivolous and bizarre questions your spam filter won’t allow us to discuss here. We expect to see the Governor’s budget delivered to the General Assembly as well as the House version of an economic development/incentives plan. Stay tuned…