Legislators returned to Raleigh this week as the special session continues. Leadership from both chambers have indicated skeletal sessions will be held over the coming days as the General Assembly awaits any potential vetoes from Governor Cooper. While the General Assembly is in session, the Governor has up to 10 days to sign or veto legislation before it becomes law without his signature.
Elections Board (H1029)
The General Assembly approved a plan to split the State Board of Elections and Ethics Enforcement back into two agencies Wednesday. Legislators had combined the boards back in 2016. The bill also authorized the elections board to handle campaign finance investigations and returns lobbying enforcement to the Secretary of State’s office—also reversing changes made in 2016. Other changes in the bill include expanding county elections boards to five members, delaying the new voter photo ID requirement until September, increasing the amount of time allowed to lawmakers to draw voting district maps when ordered to do so by the courts, and requiring absentee ballot voters to either have their ballot notarized, or have the two witnesses "certify that the voter is the registered voter" submitting the ballot. The bill would require another primary in the 9th Congressional District if suspected absentee ballot fraud results in a new election. The bill has been sent to Governor Cooper.
Technical Corrections (S469)
The Legislature quickly passed a technical corrections bill yesterday. The twenty-page bill touched a number of issues. While mostly technical, the bill did make a few policy changes including clarifying the make-up of county boards of elections and allowing development in State-required vegetative buffers.
House Speaker Tim Moore announced Wednesday that he was unanimously elected by the House Republican Caucus to serve his third term as Speaker.
The Committee on Governmental Operations Subcommittee on the Atlantic Coast Pipeline met Tuesday where chairmen, Harry Brown (R-Onslow) and Dean Arp (R-Union), announced Tuesday their plan to hire a private investigation firm to probe Governor Cooper’s mitigation agreement.
For more information contact a member of the Brooks Pierce Government Affairs Team, linked below.