Another Special Session of the NC General Assembly

Even though the General Assembly adjourned less than a month ago with plans, at that time, to reconvene on November 27th after the General Election, today, a notice was sent to legislators advising them that tomorrow we will reconvene for a Special Session months in advance for the purpose of crafting special language to describe the six constitutional amendments which will be placed before voters for consideration. There is already proposed language in the bills relating to each of these amendments, however, the Republican majority in the General Assembly does not want to leave it to anyone other than themselves to craft the final language.

Most disturbing is the fact that most of these amendments will be deceptively described in ways that will not reveal their true intent or purpose. For example, there is an amendment dealing with the creation of a new bipartisan election and ethics board. The problem is the governor in this state has always had the power to appoint these members in the past, but more importantly, additional language in the amendment would eliminate Governor Cooper’s ability to appoint members to over 400 boards and commissions. This is one of the reasons why prior governors, both Republican and Democrat, are opposing this amendment including Republican Governors Pat McCrory and Jim Martin.

Another proposed amendment would allow the NC General Assembly to review and select individuals which the governor could appoint to judicial vacancies. The General Assembly would have the responsibility of recommending two people for each position which the governor could select from. Currently, the governor selects from a list of 5 persons recommended by local bar associations, which have Democratic and Republican members, to fill vacancies. Once again, the governor is the loser regardless of whether a Democrat or Republican is serving in the future.

Today, I was interviewed with Rep. David Lewis to discuss this upcoming Special Session for a segment on the Capital Tonight program where the host is Loretta Boniti. It will be broadcast tonight at 7:00 pm and at 12:00 am (midnight).