NCGA Week in Review

August 25, 2017

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The legislature has been in town this week to take on legislativeredistricting and consider several vetoes from Governor Roy Cooper. Thisweek, members heard public comment from individuals across the state andconsidered the new maps in committees, and the Senate voted to approve theproposed Senate maps on Friday, the House is expected to vote on theproposed House maps next Monday. Additionally, two of Gov. Cooper’s vetoeswere overridden by the House and have been sent to the Senate forconsideration.

Redistricting Moves Forward

Over the weekend House and Senate lawmakers released their proposed mapsfor new legislative districts in preparation to approve the maps in timefor the September 1 court ordered redistricting deadline. During the week,political data was released by the legislature and members of the House andSenate Redistricting Committees heard comments from North Caroliniansacross the state.

The Senate Committee on Redistricting reviewedSB 691: 2017 Senate Redistricting Comm Planand the proposed Senatemapon Thursday. During their meeting, five amendments were considered and twowere adopted. The bill passed on the Senate floor by a 27-16 vote and willbe considered by the Senate again on Monday before heading to the House.Redistricting bills are not subject to the Governor’s signature.

Today the House Committee on Redistricting heardHB 927: 2017 House Districtsand the proposed House map. Four amendments were considered by thecommittee and two were adopted. The bill now heads to the House floor andis scheduled to be heard on Monday. After the bill clears the House, itmust also be heard by the Senate.

Incumbency Protection:

Sixteen incumbents have been double bunked under the proposed map, whichmeans that two incumbents will have to run against one another unless onedrops out or moves to another district. There are also a total of eightopen districts under the proposed maps, which could provide opportunitiesfor political newcomers.

In the Senate:

  • Democrat Erica Smith-Ingram and Republican Bill Cook both fall in proposed District 3, which leans Democratic and includes Tyrell, Washington, Carteret, Craven and Pamlico counties.
  • Republicans John Alexander and Chad Barefoot live in proposed District 18, which encompasses Franklin County and portions of Wake County. Over the weekend, Sen. Barefoot announced that he will not seek reelection in 2018.
  • Republicans Deanna Ballard and Shirley Randleman are double bunked in District 45, which includes Alleghany, Ashe, Surry, Watauga, and Wilkes counties.
  • Joyce Krawiec and newly-appointed Dan Barrett are double bunked in a district that spans across Davie and portions of Forsyth County, District 31.
  • This also means that there are four open districts in the Senate:
    • District 1, which includes a number of counties in the Outer Banks – Camden, Chowan, Currituck, Dare, Gates, Hertford, Hyde, Pasquotank, Perquimans, Tyrell and Washington, and leans Republican.
    • District 33, which includes Rowan and Stanly County and favors Republican candidates.
    • District 34, a district composed of Iredell and Yadkin counties, favors Republican candidates.
    • District 16 in Wake County, which favors Democratic candidates.

Follow thislinkto view all incumbency data and other statistics used to draw the Senateproposals.

On the House side:

  • Republican Susan Martin is double bunked with Democrat Jean Farmer-Butterfield in Democratic leaning District 24 in Wilson County.
  • Republican John Sauls is double bunked with Democrat Robert Reives in District 51, which includes Harnett and Lee Counties. Rep. Reives informed the House that he will be moving to District 54, which includes Chatham and portions of Durham County, today.
  • Republicans John Faircloth and Jon Hardister both live in the proposed District 61 in Guilford County.
  • Republicans Larry Pittman and Carl Ford are double bunked in District 83, which includes Cabarrus and Rowan Counties.
  • There are three open House districts:
    • District 8, in Pitt County, which favors Democratic candidates.
    • District 54, which includes Chatham and portions of Durham County, and leans in favor of Democrats.
    • District 59, in Guilford County, which favors Republican candidates.
    • District 79, which includes Beaufort and Craven Counties, and leans in favor of Republicans.

Follow thislinkto view all incumbency data and other statistics used to draw the Houseproposals.

Partisan Balance:

Based on past political data, the House and Senate proposals favor the GOP– President Trump would have won 33 of the 50 proposed Senate districts and76 of the proposed 120 House districts, and nine other races from 2010-2016were considering in the drawing of the districts. Additionally, manydistricts will likely be uncompetitive – 19 of the 120 House districts and10 of the 50 Senate districts are considered competitive.

Consideration of Racial Data:

Race was not used as a factor in drawing either the House or Senate maps.When this criteria was adopted, several Democrats questioned how the mapswould satisfy the Voting Rights Act, which is intended to ensurethat minority voters are able to elect the candidate of their choice,without considering race when drawing the new maps.

Vetoes Reconsidered

Two bills that were vetoed by Gov. Cooper were reconsidered on the Housefloor on Thursday afternoon. The Senate has scheduled to vote on thesebills next Tuesday.

HB 140: Dental Plans Provider Contracts/ Transparencyremoves an exemption for stand-alone dental insurance plans, which nowrequires them to disclose to medical providers the insurer’s fee schedulesfor the 20 most commonly billed procedures, and holds dental insuranceplans to other transparency requirements. Additionally, a provision whichthe Governor objected to, expands the ability for lenders to require creditproperty insurance on a loan, which protects the creditor if the borrowercannot pay. The bill allows creditors to require this insurance on itemssuch as ATVs and jet skis. The motion to override the Governor’s vetopassed by a vote of 72-43 and the bill now heads to the Senate forconsideration.

HB 770: Various Clarifying Changesmakes a number of changes to state law including:

  • Makes clarifying changes to ensure compliance with the Every Student Succeeds Act.
  • Allows the Department of Health and Human Services to retain up to 10% of the funds appropriated to the Health Food Small Retailer Program for administrative costs associated with the program.
  • Clarifies single-stream funding for LME/MCOs.

Gov. Cooper vetoed HB 770 due to two provisions: one that would allow aspecific state employee to serve in a paid commission role while takingvacation pay from a state job, and a provision that reduces the number ofgubernatorial appointments to the Medical Board by transferring two of theappointments to the General Assembly. The House voted 71-44 to override theveto and the bill has been sent to the Senate.