North Carolina General Assembly Update - December 2021

Kilpatrick Townsend’s Government Relations Team represents a variety of clients across many industries and in all levels of government, with a focus on the North Carolina General Assembly. Below is an update on the activity at the NC General Assembly this week. 

Ches McDowell and Nelson Freeman Named Top 25 Lobbyists
Ches McDowell and Nelson Freeman were featured in The North State Journal’s list of Top 25 Lobbyists in North Carolina for the second year in a row. Ches was featured in the Top 10 and Nelson was featured in the Top 25.

There are more than 750 lobbyists registered to promote businesses and public policy issues to policy makers in North Carolina. The North State Journal staff surveyed legislators, staffers, reporters, and business leaders, and parsed data on the clients represented by the registered lobbyists this year. The publication developed a metric for client quality based on multiple factors, including market capitalization, business trade publication rankings, legislative success, and size. Less than four percent of all registered lobbyists made the list. See the full list here.

Legislative Schedule
The House and Senate convened on Monday to complete the majority of work for the 2021 legislative session. Each chamber conducted a Rules Committee meeting and held a floor session to vote on some outstanding items, including several conference reports, a budget technical corrections bill (H334), and an appointments modification bill (H978). The legislature will hold no vote sessions until December 10. This a parliamentary maneuver to require the Governor to act on any pending legislation within ten days. The legislature passed an adjournment resolution to adjourn the 2021 session on December 10 to a date certain. The legislature could reconvene on December 30, but only a narrow number of matters could be considered. Items that may be taken up include veto overrides, appointments, or redistricting.

NCDHHS Secretary to Resign
On Tuesday, Governor Cooper announced North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services (NCDHHS) Secretary Dr. Mandy Cohen, will be stepping down.  Dr. Cohen has served as the NCDHHS Secretary since 2017 and played a key role in North Carolina’s response to the coronavirus pandemic. While she has not said where she is going next, Governor Cooper’s press release stated, “Dr. Cohen plans to spend more time with her family while exploring new opportunities to carry on her work improving the health and well-being of communities.”

Governor Cooper has appointed Kody Kinsley to succeed Dr. Cohen beginning January 1. Kinsley is the current NCDHHS Chief Deputy Secretary for Health and Operations Lead for the State’s COVID-19 pandemic response. The full press release from the Governor’s office can be found here.

DISCLAIMER: Because of the generality of this update, the information provided herein may not be applicable in all situations and should not be acted upon without specific legal advice based on particular situations.

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