This week at the Legislature, House members filed dozens of bills and tried to get as much accomplished as possible prior to the legislature's spring recess.
Confirmations The Senate continued the process of confirming Governor Roy Cooper's cabinet picks this week. The Senate finalized the confirmations of Secretary Michael Regan of the Department of Environmental Quality, Secretary Tony Copeland of the Department of Commerce, and Secretary Susi Hamilton of the Department of Natural and Cultural Resources.
Court of Appeals Judges (HB239 (link is external)) A bill that would reduce the number of judges on the Court of Appeals from 15 to 12 passed both chambers this week. The three seats would be reduced by attrition as three judges on the Court are expected to retire in the next two years.
Ethics and Elections (SB68 (link is external)) This week, both chambers adopted a conference report on a proposal that would combine the state elections and ethics boards and would evenly divide membership of the newly created eight-person board between Republicans and Democrats. A similar piece of legislation, which was adopted in December of 2016, was recently ruled an unconstitutional encroachment on executive authority by a three judge panel. The new proposal gives the Governor the authority to appoint all eight members from names submitted by the State's two largest political parties. It was approved by a three-fifths majority in both chambers making it likely that a gubernatorial veto could be overridden.
For more information, contact the Brooks Pierce Government Affairs Team, linked below.