NC Legislature

NC Legislative Building
Dave DeWitt

House lawmakers have tentatively passed a bill that would overhaul state boards and commissions, but with some disagreement. Senate Bill 10 would clear out the membership of many important commissions, but House lawmakers have changed the bill to restore some scientific expertise to the Coastal Resources Commission. The House version also does not eliminate 12 special Superior Court judge positions.

House Speaker Thom Tillis
N.C. General Assembly

State legislators have invited groups of educators to visit Raleigh this week in order to get more input on measures that would affect the state's schools. House Speaker Thom Tillis says he and other leaders want to know what educators consider their most pressing issues.

North Carolina's newest Congressional districts are among those up for debate in Wake County Superior Court Monday and Tuesday.
NC Legislature / ncleg.net

A panel of judges is set to hear arguments Monday about whether to uphold or reject North Carolina's newest legislative and congressional districts.

N.C. General Assembly, State Legislature
Dave DeWitt / WUNC

State lawmakers in the House have passed a bill that would block an expansion of North Carolina's Medicaid program. It passed on third reading Thursday. Republican lawmakers are opposed to enlarging Medicaid to help cover about 500,000 uninsured residents under the Affordable Care Act. Representative John Blust says the state would end up covering too many costs.

State officials say they plan to reform the health department ahead of their budget proposal to the General Assembly.  Department of Health and Human Services Secretary Aldona Wos told lawmakers yesterday her priorities are to overhaul the state's Medicaid program and improve her office's computer system.  Wos said in committee testimony aired on WRAL.com that she's cleaning up a department whose employees have filled out incomprehensible reports and wasted money through poor communication.

A bill that would immediately fire members of some of the most important state boards and commissions has advanced in the state Senate. Senate Bill 10 would sack members of the Utilities, Environmental Management, Industrial, and Wildlife Resources Commissions, among others. Democrats call it a blatant power grab, but Republicans say it will streamline state government.

A bill approved today by the Senate Rules Committee would eliminate and retool a number of key state boards and commissions. It would end members' terms on the Utilities Commission, Industrial Commission, and Coastal Resources Commission, among others. The bill's sponsor, Republican Senator Bill Rabon, says it will allow several key boards to be run by political appointees. Democratic Senator Josh Stein says the measure is a power grab.

North Carolina House of Representatives, North Carolina General Assembly
www.ncleg.net

Aside from a few lobbyists checking their cell phones, the halls of the General Assembly were quiet and free of protestors Wednesday. But in the House, legislators wasted no time getting down to business. An unemployment insurance bill many are watching closely will be discussed in a committee meeting today. It seeks to lower unemployment benefits so employers won't have to shoulder insurance increases.

State lawmakers convened in Raleigh today for the official first day of the 2013 legislative session. In the Senate, lawmakers re-elected Republican Senate President Pro Tem Phil Berger for another two years. In the House, Speaker Thom Tillis- also a Republican- will also serve for two more years. He told lawmakers he's looking forward to this session.

State senators gave tentative approval today to two bills that would make it harder for cities to annex land outside their previous limits.

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