NCGA Week in Review

October 12, 2018

Pardon Our Dust

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The General Assembly will reconvene on Monday, October 15, 2018 for another special session. Legislators have taken the last two weeks to further assess the damages from Hurricane Florence. The Governor has been working with the legislature on preparing a bigger relief package anticipating additional damage. The initial round of $56.6 million in aid established by the Hurricane Florence Disaster Recovery Fund will be tested by the potential damage from Tropical Storm Michael. Estimates report that the state has suffered up the $13 billion in damages. The General Assembly is expecting to consider additional assessments from various state agencies while debating the release of additional funds.

Storm Relief

As the state continues its recovery efforts from the impact of Hurricane Florence and Tropical Storm Michael, here are a number of resources to aid in the process:

General Information
North Carolina Department of Public Safety: Hurricane Florence Updates 

NC Road Conditions
Dial 2-1-1 for general information about shelters, food assistance and storm recovery help

Donating to Recovery Efforts
North Carolina Disaster Relief Fund

SBP Florence Recovery Fund

Disaster Assistance
NC Small Business & Technology Development Center: Recovery Resources

Carolina Small Business Development Fund’s Hurricane Florence Recovery Loan Program
The Hurricane Florence Recovery Loan Program is specifically designed to assist small business owners whose operations were impacted by the storm in September 2018.

U.S. Chamber Foundation: Small Business Recovery Guide
The U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation has put together a step-by-step small business recovery guide, which includes numerous links and suggestions for a variety of scenarios. Call 1-888-MY-BIZ-HELP (1-888-692-4943) for more assistance.  

Apply for Federal Disaster Assistance
This federal website allows you to apply for more than 70 forms of disaster assistance from 17 federal agencies. 

Small Business Association (SBA) Disaster Loans

FEMA Public Assistance Fact Sheet

National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) “What To Do After The Flood”

NC Voting

The voter registration deadlines in 28 counties declared disaster areas has been extended for an extra three days until Monday, October 15.  The voters in these counties have to register in person in their respective counties of residence or mail in their registrations. The State Board of Elections began mailing out absentee ballots to shelters across the state during Hurricane Florence. Most counties will continue with their October 12 5:00PM registration deadline.

Early voting in North Carolina will extend from October 17 through November 3.

A focal point of this year’s ballot will be the six proposed constitutional amendments. The amendments, which saw substantial debate of the floor of the House and Senate, will now be left up to the voters to decide. They cover six issues:

  • Requiring a picture ID to vote in person, in the future.
  • Capping the state income tax rate at 7% (currently, it is 10%).
  • Strengthening victims’ rights.
  • Guaranteeing the right to hunt and fish.
  • Changing the way judicial vacancies are filled when they occur between elections.
  • Changing the way people are appointed to the state elections and ethics board.

You can learn more about the constitutional amendments that will be on the ballot at the links below:

House Bill 551: Strengthening Victims’ Rights
Constitutional amendment to strengthen protections for victims of crime; to establish certain absolute basic rights for victims; and to ensure the enforcement of these rights.

House Bill 913: Bipartisan Ethics and Elections Enforcement
Constitutional amendment to establish a bipartisan Board of Ethics and Elections to administer ethics and election laws, to clarify the appointment authority of the Legislative and the Judicial Branches, and to prohibit legislators from serving on boards and commissions exercising executive or judicial authority.

House Bill 1092: Constitutional Amendment – Require Photo ID to Vote
Constitutional amendment to require voters to provide photo identification before voting in person.

Senate Bill 75: Constitutional Amendment – Max. Income Tax Rate of 7.0%
Constitutional amendment to reduce the income tax rate in North Carolina to a maximum allowable rate of seven percent (7%).

Senate Bill 814: Judicial Vacancy Sunshine Amendment
Constitutional amendment to implement a nonpartisan merit-based system that relies on professional qualifications instead of political influence when nominating Justices and judges to be selected to fill vacancies that occur between judicial elections.

Senate Bill 677: Protect Right to Hunt and Fish
Constitutional amendment protecting the right of the people to hunt, fish, and harvest wildlife.

5 things to know before you vote:

  • Be sure that you are registered to vote.
  • Get a sample ballot based on where you live.
  • Study the candidates and amendments to make voting decisions in advance.
  • Decide on your voting method and find your polling location.
  • Figure out how you will get to the polls, when and with whom.


State Elections

During midterm elections, state races often take a backseat to the races in the U.S. Congress. But for 2018, the electoral battles in the states are critical because there is much at stake: Whichever party ends up controlling the governorships and state legislatures in key states after the election will have substantial influence over the congressional redistricting process after the next census.

In the weeks leading up to election day, the Raleigh office will be updating you on the races throughout the state and country. All eyes will be on North Carolina as Democrats try to gain momentum in breaking the supermajority. This election has the potential to change the landscape of North Carolina politics for the next decade.

How district maps are drawn will have an impact on state and congressional races in the next 10 years. New maps could increase the number of seats in Congress for one party or the other, effectively giving one party an advantage in securing majorities in the state legislature and the U.S. House of Representatives.

North Carolina State Races


Projected Likely R
Current 35-15 R

Projected Likely R
Current 75-45 R

Current Attorney General
Josh Stein (D)

The next election is 2020.

Current Governor
Roy Cooper (D)

The next election is 2020.

  • The Democrats are poised to pick up seats in both chambers in North Carolina, especially in the House. 
  • The more urgent question is whether the Democrats can pick up enough seats to break the GOP supermajority in either chamber, handing Democratic Gov. Roy Cooper a weightier veto threat. 
  • In the House, the Democrats would need to net four seats to break the supermajority and would need six in the Senate.  

Interactive maps for all state races in the 2018 election are available here.