Raleigh, N.C. — With a majority in the state House and Senate and the sitting governor in Pat McCrory, Republican leaders are able to move legislation from idea to law more quickly this spring than in recent memory.
A bill to change unemployment benefits and another to limit the authority individuals communities have over housing design moved quickly. A move to renegotiate deal brokered by outgoing Gov. Bev Perdue to lease the Dorothea Dix property to the city of Raleigh got a big approval Thursday in the Senate Appropriations Committee.
David McLennan, political science professor at William Peace University, said having a single party with control of legislative and executive branches makes it easier to move the agenda along. There is less of a veto threat than the one posed by Perdue when she butted heads with the GOP-majority legislature.
The Republican caucus is sticking to a game plan. "They knew many of the bills they were going to file, arguments they were going to make," McLennan said.
That leaves them feeling organized, energized, strong and aggressive, he said.
Democrats, now in the minority, may speak out, but they are often overruled.
"It may not slow down the legislative process, but it puts Republicans on record, it puts Democrats on record," McLennan said.
Lawmakers will use that record to bolster their own case or bash an opponent when the next election cycle rolls around.