Last Wednesday was the first day of the 2023 – 2024 General Assembly. As is the tradition, the members of the N.C. House of Representatives and Senate were sworn into office. Chief Justice Paul Newby administered the oath to the 120 House members just after noon Wednesday. I was seated in seat number 4 for this term.
As has been widely reported, there was a medical emergency just before the oath was read. Rep. William Brisson of Bladen County fainted and collapsed. Responders arrived instantly, he was helped off the House floor, and came to in a couple of minutes. Being a dedicated and tough individual, he insisted on being brought back to the House floor to receive the oath before being taken for medical examination. It was reported he was fully aware, talking and joking.
The next order of business was the election of a Speaker of the House. Representative Tim Moore of Kings Mountain in Cleveland County was re-elected to another term as Speaker. Being his fifth term as Speaker, this makes him the longest serving N.C. House Speaker in the history of our state.
After Speaker Moore took the gavel, we re-elected Rep. Sarah Stevens of Surry County as Speaker Pro Tempore, as well as House Principal Clerk James White. Mr. White is the professional that runs the House Clerk’s office and whose staff keeps all the bills, records, journals, and schedules straight for us. He has done an outstanding job since becoming Principal Clerk a few years ago. Other leaders were appointed by each party to lead their caucuses. They had been previously elected in two separate caucus meetings.
The powerful Committee on Rules, Calendar, and Operations of the House will be chaired again by Rep. Destin Hall of Caldwell County. Other committee chairs will be appointed in the next two weeks. I have requested to remain involved with Transportation, but to become more involved in Environment in order to better represent our unique coastal issues. My other committees should remain the same, including those dealing with elections and education. Possibly, our other Brunswick representative, Rep. Charlie Miller, will chair an important committee this term.
There will a break until Wednesday, Jan. 25th. We will be preparing bills for introduction and gearing up for long weeks of committees and sessions in Raleigh. I will be publishing this newsletter after each week we have activity, and will keep it informational, not political. Many like to know directly what their representatives and their colleagues are doing.