Senate takes secrecy to new level

As Chris Fitzsimon noted this morning, the lack of sunlight and opportunity for public input on a new round of tax cuts currently under construction in the state Senate is truly outrageous.

Now there’s more news on the black hole that is the Senate in this story by Mark Binker at WRAL.com entitled: “Crucial legislation can be crafted behind closed doors.”

As Binker reports, Senate Republicans are literally drafting the state budget behind closed doors with literally no opportunity for public input:

“Both Republicans and Democrats hold closed-door caucus meetings at the General Assembly, but the current Republican majority means that the GOP members have the raw numbers to determine the fate of legislation in those sessions.

It’s important to note that party caucuses have been used for decades, if not centuries, to wrangle sometimes unruly legislative bodies. For most of the 20th century and the first decade of the 21st, it was Democrats who could gather behind closed doors in sufficient numbers to determine the outcome of a bill.

‘It was wrong when the Democrats were doing it, and it’s wrong now, [Common Cause NC Executive Director Bob] Phillips said.

The Senate budget provides a particularly stark example of the practice. After working through many of their intramural differences in private, Senate leaders say they will bypass the budget subcommittees that traditionally review the hundreds of pages that make up the $21 billion spending plan. Instead, the measure will go to a single budget committee before heading to the floor.”

The bottom line: It’s hard to imagine a less open lawmaking process than is now underway in North Carolina. No wonder the powers that be are so uneasy about protesters in the Legislative Building; they don’t want any witnesses to what they are up to.


  1. LayintheSmakDown

    May 28, 2014 at 5:56 pm

    So you really expect us to believe that Fitzy and Binky just now figured out that legislation can be crafted behind closed doors? Again, like the “gerrymander” debate….where were you when the democrat party set up the NCGA to operate this way? And IF the democrats ever get back in power, will this be a story here or in the leftist WRAL news outlet (that no one really pays attention to any more)?

  2. Alan

    May 28, 2014 at 7:17 pm

    “Leftist WRAL”? Wow….. paranoia at its best. I guess any media outlet that even DARES to comment on the extremists at work here in NC must be labelled “Leftist”. By this measure, just about every media outlet in the country must be “Leftist”.

    I do look forward to the Talibaggers getting kicked out of office, as it’ll be another 140 years before they ever get back in, assuming they even survive.

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