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.
It was another quiet week at the NC General Assembly. The Senate did not hold any policy committee meetings or floor votes, and the House only held one voting session on Wednesday. The legislature’s main focus was redistricting public hearings that were held across the state and behind the scenes budget negotiations.
On Wednesday, House Speaker Tim Moore (R-Cleveland) said the House and Senate hope to send a compromise budget to Governor Cooper next week. However, the process will look different than it has in the past. Instead of publicly releasing the budget and voting it out of the House and Senate, the compromise will be sent to Governor Cooper confidentially. Leadership hopes this process will help ensure “frank and candid negotiation” and allow the chambers to make changes. The goal is to have a budget finalized by the first or second week in October.
H320, Modernize Remote Business Access, was sent to the Governor for consideration this week. The bill would authorize remote meetings of corporation shareholders, nonprofit corporation members, and mutual insurance company policy holders. It would also authorize nonprofit corporations to conduct all business electronically. Most of these authorizations were granted temporarily by Executive Orders during the pandemic, but this legislation would make it a permanent option in the state. It was one of the only pieces of legislation taken up this week and passed the House on Wednesday with a unanimous concurrence vote.
Attorney General Settlements
During Wednesday’s floor session, the House considered S360, Prohibit Collusive Settlements by the AG. This bill would require that when the Speaker of the House and the Senate President Pro Tempore are part of a lawsuit, either as interveners or defendants, both must approve any consent judgment or settlement agreement prior to the Attorney General entering into the judgment or agreement. The bill is in response to a previous settlement that changed the state’s absentee ballot rules. It passed along party lines (58-47) and has been sent to the Governor. Speaker Moore’s press release on the issue can be viewed here.