Post-Super Bowl Legislative Update February 2015

by Womble Bond Dickinson

Welcome to your Post-Super Bowl Legislative Update --

Your Womble Carlyle Government Affairs Team Member, Angel, is just happy that the Carolina Panthers are back in the running!  Now that the Super Bowl is over, professional football is starting anew.  So it is in Raleigh with the 2015 Legislative Session officially underway!  This week new committee chairs got trained to run committees, members started drafting and filing bills, and each chamber dipped its toe in the water and acted on legislation; the Governor delivered his biennial State of the State Address to a Joint Session of the General Assembly in all its finery; and there are new velvet ropes and rules restricting access to the House and Senate chambers….

Give us a call if you or your client has a question.  Although time is marching on it’s never too late for a legislative game-changer --  even at first and goal on the 1 yard line a pass can be intercepted.

Wishing you a weekend of big horses, cute puppies, ____ cowboys and cold beverages. 

PS This new larger font is sponsored by Womble Partner Chris Geis.

PPS  Laura was for the Patriots all along.

Typically the legislative session starts off slowly with the members, staff and public getting their sea legs. For example Angel and Laura have been showing new members how to navigate the legislative complex. This year is no exception with little official legislative action and lots of activity around the margins. Things will start hopping soon enough!

State of the State Address

Each biennium, the Governor addresses a joint session of the General Assembly along with the Supreme Court, the Council of State and his Cabinet. The purpose is to discuss the current state of our state as well as highlight his plans for budget initiatives and more for the coming legislative session. In the State of the State address on Wednesday night, Governor McCrory highlighted the falling unemployment rate and new jobs, vowed to raise teacher base pay to $35,000, asked the legislature to provide funding for economic incentives including the historic tax credit, and pledged to work with lawmakers to find new funding sources for road construction and maintenance. He also asked the legislature to consider two bonds costing around $2.4 million for roads and state buildings. He managed to rub a little bit of salt into the wounds of Seattle Seahawks fans while encouraging legislators to pass Medicaid reform this year saying, “Let’s not take another pass this year. Let’s run it up the middle and win a victory for families across North Carolina.” He had to stop for applause. We were interested to then see the Governor depart slightly from a normal gubernatorial agenda to continue to press for reforms for “puppy mills” – an issue near and dear to Mrs. McCrory. Stay out of the dog house, Governor.

Constitutional Amendment

Civics Note: **A constitutional amendment must pass with three-fifths of the House and three-fifths of the Senate approving. In the House that’s 72 votes (regardless of attendance) and 30 votes in the Senate. This differs from a vote to override the Governor’s veto, which requires only three-fifths of the members present and voting, which can be a very different number.


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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