North Carolina General Assembly Week in Review

November 18, 2023

The North Carolina General Assembly remains adjourned until at least Wednesday, November 29 at noon when lawmakers may reconvene to take up any remaining conference reports, gubernatorial vetoes, or other items specified in the legislature’s adjournment resolution. However, no committee meetings or votes have been added to the public calendars for next week, likely indicating no formal business will be conducted.

There will not be a Week in Review published next week. From the entire MWC team, we want to wish you and your families a happy and safe Thanksgiving!

News Roundup

1. Reinstatement of Fire Safety Officials

Insurance Commissioner Mike Causey reinstated key fire safety officials this week, including state fire marshal Brian Taylor, after they were previously dismissed amidst a political battle. The move follows legislation that was eventually included in the state budget designed to protect these employees’ positions and separate the state fire marshal’s office from the Insurance Commissioner. Commissioner Causey argued the dismissal was due to a breach of trust, while Taylor refuted any mishandling of sensitive information.

2. Lt. Gov Mark Robinson’s Visit to Israel

Lieutenant Governor Mark Robinson, a Republican, who has faced criticism for past antisemitic comments, embarked on a trip to Israel, organized by the North Carolina Faith and Freedom Coalition. The Lieutenant Governor’s trip to Israel is part of a broader effort to align himself more visibly with pro-Israel stances and distance himself from past statements. Bill Graham, a Salisbury Republican also running for governor, criticized Robinson for the trip. “Mark Robinson said in 2017 that he was sick of hearing that the Nazis were evil and manipulative towards the Jews,” Graham spokesman Alex Baltzegar said in an emailed statement. “That is just one of many examples of his well-documented history of antisemitism.

3. Satana Deberry’s Attorney General Candidacy

Durham County District Attorney Satana Deberry announced her candidacy for North Carolina attorney general, joining the Democratic primary race against U.S. Rep. Jeff Jackson. Deberry’s candidacy could be a significant factor in the primary, given her strong base in Durham County and her advocacy for progressive legal reforms. Deberry’s bid also adds diversity to the race, as she could become the first Black woman elected to a statewide position in North Carolina.

4. Senate Republicans Challenge Democratic Colleague

State Senate Republicans are urging Democratic Senator Lisa Grafstein (D-Wake) to resign following her move to a new district. The redistricting process, which saw Sen. Grafstein “double-bunked” out of her original district, was criticized by Democrats as a partisan maneuver. Sen. Grafstein, an outspoken critic of Republican policies and the only openly LGBTQ+ member of the Senate, plans to run in the newly formed Senate District 13 in 2024.

5. Tim Moore’s Congressional Campaign Launch

House Speaker Tim Moore (R-Cleveland) has launched a significant advertising campaign for his congressional run in North Carolina’s 14th District, with a $1.1 million ad buy. Speaker Moore, facing competition in the Republican primary, has focused on fundraising and consolidating support across the district that encompasses Burke, Cleveland, Gaston, Rutherford and parts of Mecklenburg and Polk counties.

Upcoming Legislative Meetings

Wednesday, November 29

12:00 PM: House Session
12:00 PM: Senate Session