This week at the General Assembly, budget conversations continued while both the House and Senate considered noteworthy bills.
Budget Process (S257 (link is external))
Both chambers appointed members to the conference committee for the Appropriations Act of 2017. The committee is made up of 47 Representatives (41 Republicans and 6 Democrats) and 24 Senators (all Republican). Leadership has expressed a goal of completing the budget bill by next week with an adjournment target of July 1.
In response to the United States Supreme Court's upholding of a lower court decision that North Carolina's legislative maps are unconstitutional, Governor Cooper called upon the Legislature on Wednesday afternoon to begin a 14-day session to redraw district voting maps. Thursday morning, legislators rejected the call with the House voting 71-44 to refuse the Governor's call and the Senate adopting a motion to do the same.
Renewable Energy (H589 (link is external))
A bill that would rewrite the North Carolina's renewable energy laws passed through the House this week with little resistance. The proposal would allow third-party leasing of rooftop or community solar systems, reinstate the green source rider, open competitive bidding on solar projects, and maintains the state's renewable energy portfolio standard goal of 12.5% by 2021. The final House vote was 108-11.The bill now moves to the Senate.