Legislative briefing for the week of August 21, 2017

08/25/2017

STATE

Veto Overrides
After being calendared during Tuesday’s brief session, the House approved motions to override Governor Cooper’s vetoes on two bills. One of the bills, House Bill 770, gives the legislature two appointments to the state Medical Board. Three other potential override votes will be held on Monday.

Redistricting Update
Over the weekend, state lawmakers released new maps showing how they want to redraw the state House and Senate districts. The proposed maps come after a 2011 ruling that election maps included unconstitutional racial gerrymanders. On Tuesday, the legislative redistricting committee held public hearings across North Carolina to hear from those concerned. Many of the speakers were critical of the committee’s decision to use Tom Hofeller, the same mapmaker who drew the 2011 maps. 

On Wednesday, the challengers who forced the redrawing of the 2011 maps announced that they have drawn their own alternate maps that they hope to have considered before changing the districts. The Senate moved their maps out of committee on Thursday and votes are scheduled for today and Monday. The House redistricting committee is taking up its maps today with second and third readings on Monday.

Senator Barefoot Retiring
On Sunday, NC Senator Chad Barefoot announced his plans to retire at the end of his six term from the General Assembly. He is not seeking re-election so that he can spend more time with his family. Senator Barefoot represents the 18th district, which covers parts of Wake and Franklin Counties. He is also co-chairman of the Senate Education and Higher Education Committee and the Appropriations Subcommittee on Education and Higher Education. 


FEDERAL

Congress returns from recess on September 5 and will focus on approving additional appropriations bill, raising the debt limit, and reauthorizing the Children’s Health Insurance Program, all before the end of the fiscal year on September 30.

Repeal and replace updates
On September 6 and 7, the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee is scheduled to hold hearings on stabilizing the Affordable Care Act’s insurance markets. Specifically, the hearings will feature testimony from state insurance commissioners and governors (from Massachusetts, Montana, Colorado, Tennessee, and Utah) on keeping premiums affordable and increasing insurance options for 2018. Our office will provide updates as they become available.