As North Carolina lawmakers prepare to return to Raleigh next week for the latest in a seemingly endless series of special legislative sessions, rumors have been plentiful about what might actually be on the agenda. One rumor held that lawmakers would discuss possible constitutional amendments. Another held that next week’s convening would feature only brief, “skeletal” sessions and that business wouldn’t get underway in earnest until the week of October 8.
Now, thanks to an email sent to House Republican members on Monday of this week by House Speaker Tim Moore and obtained by Policy Watch, we know that neither of these rumors is true — at least insofar as the House is concerned.
Here is the text of the email:
For your planning purposes, I expect that we will be in session nest week on Wednesday, Thursday and possibly Friday. I do not foresee us going any time past Friday and frankly I hope to finish everything on Thursday but given the second / third reading rules we may have to roll over to Friday. The items on the short list for next week are listed below and any members who believe there is something of great urgency that is not included should contact me at once. We are working to have everything in bill form ready to be heard in the appropriate committee on Wednesday with floor action as early as possible on each bill. To that end, I am directing that all conference reports be turned in to the House Principal Clerk by Wednesday 10/4/17 at 5:00 P.M. Those members who are working on legislation should attempt to have everything ready for printing by the end of this week. My staff is working with bill sponsors already and will help anyone else upon request.
I want to avoid the down time we had the last special session but we will all have to work together in order to do so. Please let me know if you have any questions or need any further information. I want this to be a productive mini-session for all of us and minimize the time each of you are taking away from your families, jobs and other obligations. As always, thank you for the opportunity to serve as your Speaker.
Veto Overrides – S16 and H56
H162 – Rule Throttle (up or down vote on Conf. Report)
Greensboro / Guilford public notice local bill
Brawley Mecklenburg local bill
Budget Tech corrects
Conf. reports – Oct. 4 / 5:00 P.M. deadline or push to next session
AG criminal appeals fix
DWI / Statute of Limitations fix
Film Credit Expiration fix.”
Of course, none of this is written in stone and it only represents the plans of one powerful leader. That said, the memo provides a remarkable and troubling commentary. That lawmakers would even contemplate taking up so many important matters in such a short time with essentially no notice to the public is outrageous and further confirmation that the current leaders of the General Assembly view traditional legislative processes as essentially obsolete.
As more details become available on the matters Moore references, we’ll have further updates in the hours and days ahead.