Following the longest “long” legislative session in North Carolina history, which began in January 2021 and went a few months into 2022, the “short” session is officially upon us. Yes, already! Both the state House and state Senate gaveled in on Wednesday around noon. There is hope that this legislative session will be the shortest “short” session in North Carolina history. The buzz around the General Assembly is that they will adjourn the session around July 1, which would not be a record. Either way, we’ll believe it when we see it.
The top priority for lawmakers is to approve changes to the second year of the two-year budget that was signed into law in November 2021. Speaker Moore said on the House floor Wednesday afternoon that House and Senate budget writers will most likely introduce the budget adjustments in a conference report.
A conference report is a pre-negotiated compromise and cannot be amended once brought to each chamber for a vote — it’s an up or down vote. This type of process may bring with it issues surrounding transparency. The compromise is negotiated in private, and the public often doesn’t get a first look at the document until just a few hours before the vote.
NCSBA spent Wednesday and Thursday this week meeting with legislators who made it to Raleigh for the start of session. Given Tuesday night’s primary election, many lawmakers stayed in their home district this week. More on that below.
General Assembly — It’s All in the Numbers
All 170 state legislative seats were on ballots across the state on Tuesday — 50 Senate districts, 120 House districts. Nine incumbents lost.
Two Republican senators lost after being “double bunked” with other incumbents.
Sen. Ralph Hise, R-Mitchell, defeated Sen. Deanna Ballard, R-Watauga (Ballard chaired two Senate education committees)
Sen. Norm Sanderson, R-Pamlico, beat Sen. Bob Steinburg, R-Chowan
Two Republican representatives lost after being “double bunked” with other incumbents.
Rep. Ben Moss, R-Richmond, defeated Rep. Jamie Boles, R-Moore
Rep. Jake Johnson, R-Polk, defeated Rep. David Rogers, R-Rutherford
Two Democratic senators lost in the primary to a non-legislator.
Sen. Kirk deViere, D-Cumberland, and Sen. Ernestine Bazemore, D-Bertie
One Democratic representative ran for a Senate seat and lost to a current senator.
Sen. Toby Fitch, D-Wilson, defeated Rep. Raymond Smith, D-Wayne
One Republican representative lost running for a Senate seat to a non-legislator.
Rep. Lee Zachary, R-Yadkin
One Republican representative lost in the primary to a non-legislator.
Rep. Pat Hurley, R-Randolph
Senate Republicans head to the November general election with a 13-1 seat advantage over Senate Democrats before a single ballot is cast because of races that are unopposed.
House Republicans head to the November general election with a 29-5 seat advantage over House Democrats before a single ballot is cast because of races that are unopposed.
Take a look at this article for more specifics on legislative races.
United States House of Representatives
Seven sitting state legislators won their congressional primary races.
Sen. Don Davis, D-Greene, will face Republican Sandy Smith in the 1st Congressional District.
Sen. Valerie Foushee, D-Orange, will face Republican Courtney Geels in the 4th Congressional District.
Rep. Charles Graham, D-Robeson, will face Republican incumbent Rep. David Rouzer in the 7th Congressional District.
Sen. Ben Clark, D-Hoke, will face Republican incumbent Rep. Richard Hudson in the 9th Congressional District.
Sen. Chuck Edwards, R-Henderson, will face Democrat Jasmine Beach-Ferrara in the 11th Congressional District.
Sen. Wiley Nickel, D-Wake, will face Republican Bo Hines in the 13th Congressional District.
Sen. Jeff Jackson, D-Mecklenburg, will face Republican Pat Harrigan in the 14th Congressional District.
United States Senate
Republican Ted Budd will face Democrat Cheri Beasley in November to fill the seat vacated by retiring Republican Sen. Richard Burr.
Wednesday, May 25
11 a.m. — Senate Education/Higher Education Committee
Legislative Office Building (LOB), Room 544
Director of Governmental Relations
N.C. School Boards Association
Governmental Relations Research Specialist
N.C. School Boards Association
Rebekah HowardNCSBA Legislative Update – May 20, 2022