This week began with solemn reminders to cherish those we cherish, as the General Assembly has lost two beloved people. Frances Patterson, a longtime staff member of the Sergeant-at-Arms, died over the weekend. And on Monday, it was announced that Rep. Jerry Carter, a Republican from Rockingham County, had died. Their memory hovered over the meetings of the legislature as the House began to deliberate on a budget and the redistribution began.
The state has started to see an increase in the number of coronavirus cases. This morning in the state of North Carolina there were 4,331 confirmed cases of coronavirus, 1,651 people hospitalized and, sadly, 13,724 confirmed deaths. There were 9,897,190 doses of the vaccine distributed in North Carolina, representing approximately 62% of the total adult population.
As we all continue to feel the effects of the global pandemic and adjust to a new normal, we want to highlight a few ways our clients in North Carolina have worked to support residents and make this time a little easier for them. those across the state. Learn more about what our customers are doing to help by clicking here.
For more information on COVID-19 in North Carolina, click here to visit the Department of Health and Human Services website, and be sure to stay up to date on the latest federal guidelines issued by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) by clicking here.
Last month the Senate passed its budget package, so now all eyes are on the House to see its final proposal before the budget goes to a conference committee between the two houses. We moved closer to the House version this week, as House members spent most of Thursday in area-specific supply subcommittees to hear and vote on spending proposals for the various sections. from the budget. Some of the topics that will generate the most discussion, like tax cuts and pay adjustments for government employees, won’t be presented until Tuesday of next week. While the House retained many provisions of the Senate budget, they also amended and even eliminated some of the suggestions made by senators.
The House Budget Speakers were given autonomy to determine the structure of their subcommittee and the manner in which amendments or debate would take place. The transportation credit subcommittee met only briefly and no amendments were accepted. The Transportation Budget mimics the Senate version and deviates only slightly from their total spending plans for the Highway Fund and Highway Trust Fund. The transportation section of the house includes several additional provisions, including an additional $ 25 million in the road allowance, funding for more cycling and walking lanes, and a provision that would allow billboard owners to move their signs around. the same neighborhood.
The House added several policy positions to the health and social services budget, including a widely interpreted policy to change the way hospitals and nursing home staff admit visitors during the declared emergency period. The House maintained a Senate policy that would allow parents of children no longer in their care to stay on Medicaid, but eliminated a policy that would allow postpartum women to stay on Medicaid for an additional twelve months.
The education subcommittee was perhaps the longest of the week, and a series of amendments were accepted during the committee. While salary increases for teachers and school staff were not included in Thursday’s proposal, Chairman John Torbett (R-Gaston) told members of the subcommittee he believed they would be ” really happy ”with the increases to be announced next Tuesday. Like the health budget, the Chamber has added several policy changes, including the requirement for educators to post their lesson plans and teaching materials on a portal to be created by the Ministry of Education. . Parents and residents would also have the right to challenge educational materials before a local committee set up in the House budget. Charter school operators have also received some relief in the House plan with a provision that would allow applicants attempting to set up a charter school to reapply twice within 30 days if the National Council of l education does not give its approval; the Council of State would also be required to explain the errors made and exactly what the applicant can correct.
On the House floor on Wednesday, Budget Writer Rep. Donny Lambeth (R-Forsyth) told members to expect a long day next Tuesday. The full House supply committee is expected to meet for most of the day and the budget to be presented to the House sometime next week.
North Carolina lawmakers begin their 10-year redistribution process early on from other states. Due to the coronavirus pandemic, the release of the 2020 census data, which lawmakers use to draw proportional constituencies, has been delayed until this month. Normally the cards could be redrawn much sooner, but due to the delay, lawmakers across the country are facing a tight timeline to have the cards redrawn before the opening of the 2022 midterm election filing.
The joint redistribution committee met on Thursday so the presidents of both chambers could set out their expectations and a general timeline for the redistribution process. Chairing the committee, Representative Destin Hall (R-Caldwell) said he expected to receive census data by Aug. 16, but warned that its non-partisan staff would take three weeks to process the data in a usable format. Hall also reported that the State Board of Elections has requested that the cards be redrawn at least three weeks before the start of the filing period, which begins on December 6. We can deduce that the legislator intends to have the maps redrawn at the beginning of November.
The process will likely match that used in 2019 after the courts ordered a new draw. Representative D Hall and Senator Paul Newton (R-Cabarrus) both applauded the 2019 process and said it was the most transparent redistribution procedure used in state history. While the state waits for census data, the committee will seek public comment on the redistribution process, and next week a formal process will be voted on by committee members.
Next week’s meetings
Monday August 9
2:30 p.m. House: Finances
3:00 p.m. Joint redistribution and elections
4:00 p.m. Senate: Session
5:00 p.m. Home: Session
Tuesday August 10
8:30 am Joint redistribution and elections
9h00 Home: Credits
10:00 am Senate: Agriculture, Energy and Environment
Wednesday August 11
8:30 am Home: Pensions and Retirement