INS AND OUTS OF POLITICS IN RALEIGH

Paul Fogleman,

This week the General Assembly again convenes with an agenda yet to be announced. Current legislative leaders have ushered in a new approach to doing business. The House and Senate have been in special sessions every month since the long 2017 session recessed in July. In previous years, so-called “special sessions” could only be called by the governor. However, new rules for operation of the House and Senate allows the leaders to schedule sessions to address “unfinished business.” Overriding vetoes by Gov. Roy Cooper tops these agenda. But bills dealing with budget adjustments and redistricting also are being thrashed out in the committees and on the floor. The sessions this week probably will override the governor’s veto of a bill to eliminate primaries for judicial candidates in 2018. Gov. Cooper vetoed the proposed legislation, arguing that it is part of a Republican strategy to eliminate election of judges. The bill also changed judicial districts for judges and district attorneys. Proponents argue that new districts give rural voters more choices. Judges and organizations representing the judiciary have opposed the bill.

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