The General Assembly remains in session. Returning after a few days off over the Independence Day holiday, the effort to override Governor Cooper’s veto of the budget remains on the House calendar each day. Each day House leadership does a vote count to see if they have enough votes to override. They need several Democrats to join the Republican majority to accomplish that. In the meantime, the House passed H-111, SUPPLEMENTAL APPROPRIATIONS ACT by a vote of 118-0. That is a stopgap measure that will fund certain areas until the budget is actually approved.
There are ongoing negotiations to come to some kind of agreement between the General Assembly and the Governor, but it’s a tangled web and doesn’t just include the budget itself. Specifically, H-655 NC HEALTH CARE FOR WORKING FAMILIES was approved in the House Health Committee and has been on the House floor calendar for a while. No vote has been taken because it’s being used as a budget negotiating tool. It’s all about the debates over Medicaid expansion, but that discussion is too lengthy for this update!
Budget provision for voluntary buyout of commercial fishing licenses: This was explained in the legislative update several weeks ago. It’s not a bill but was introduced as a Special Provision in the Senate budget with the funding for the measure coming from the Commercial Fishing License Fund and any licenses bought back would be retired or lost. We worked to get the language changed so the funding now comes from the General Fund and any licenses bought back would go back into the commercial license pool. That measure stayed in the budget that was sent to the Governor.
H-483, LET THEM SPAWN, passed the House and remains in the Senate Rules Committee where it is not expected to move any further this year. The bill will remain alive for the short session which will begin in May of 2020.
H-597 WILDLIFE RESOURCES AMENDS has passed the House and is now in the Senate Rules Committee.
H-655 HEALTH CARE FOR WORKING FAMILIES has passed the House and now in Senate Rules.
H-648 SUPPORT SHELLFISH AQUACULTURE has been signed by the Governor and is now law.
THIRD DISTRICT CONGRESSIONAL RACE
The Republican runoff was held this past Tuesday with Greg Murphy coming out as the winner. So, the names on the ballot in September to determine the person to replace the late Walter B. Jones, Jr., are: Democrat Allen Thomas, Republican Greg Murphy, Libertarian Tim Harris and Constitution Party Greg Holt.
Next week we will continue listing events scheduled for those candidates.