Last week in the North Carolina General Assembly started quickly on Monday
with a night voting session and saw us handle a full calendar all week. After a
week off for July 4 th celebrations, we had a lot to do. The Budget bill, House Bill
966, was back on the calendar for a possible veto override vote, and many bills that
had come over from the Senate were on the House floor for votes. The Senate was
also voting on our House bills.
Independence Day, July 4 th is always exciting for our citizens, especially those
being sworn in as citizens for the first time in naturalization ceremonies, those who
are joining in parades in many of our towns, and those enjoying family time. It
was a pleasure to ride in Southport’s Official N.C. July 4 th parade and see many
friends across the county on this patriotic day that should bring us closer and help
us realize how lucky we are to be here.
The state budget, House Bill 966 – 2019 Appropriations Act, was vetoed by the
Governor on Friday, June 28 th , one day after it passed both the House and Senate.
His explanation was two sentences long, but came down to the lack of Medicaid
expansion the way he wanted it in the budget. It is widely known that, in addition
to the $4 billion spent on Medicaid now, his plan would add $1.2 billion to the
budget and possibly $8 billion over the next 5 years.
However, the budget bill can be enacted into law over his objections if the House
and Senate can get three fifths of the members to vote for it. That would be 72
votes in the House and 30 in the Senate. Since it is a House bill, we have to vote
first. So, House Bill 966 was on our House calendar all last week in the hopes of
obtaining enough Democrats to join with the 65 Republicans and accomplish the
override. The state is now operating on the previous budget as of July 1 st , but not
shutting down. What the veto does is stop the teacher and state employee raises,
future public school and community college construction funds, school safety
funds, further tax cuts for working families, future transportation construction and
maintenance funds, as well as funds for many local and regional projects for our
citizens. We are continuing to work on the override vote, which could come at any
There were approximately 90 bills on the House calendar last week over the four
voting sessions. There were House bills that had been changed in the Senate with
which we had to vote to concur. Most passed the concurrence votes, but on some
we voted to not concur. These will go to a conference committee of House and
Senate members, then back to both chambers for final votes once there is
agreement. Other bills were Senate bills to which we agreed, and others were
House bills up for floor votes for the first time. This busy week was reflected in
the Senate, which appeared to have about 100 bills on which to vote. Some bills
receive quick votes, but others have hours of debate.
A few of the bills that are receiving much attention include a Gaming Commission
bill (SB 574), an ABC reform bill (SB 290), a healthcare bill (HB 655), and the
Farm Act (SB 315). All the bills can be accessed and read on the General
Assembly website, www.ncleg.net .
We expect another full calendar this week, along with conference committee
meetings and policy committee meetings, at least extending from Monday through