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@NCCapitol

Lack of transparency always a hallmark of NC legislature

Posted July 12, 2013
Updated July 13, 2013

— Abortion debates in the General Assembly the last two weeks have been as much about the legislative process as about the content of the divisive proposals.

Democrats have repeatedly cried foul during the six-month session, saying the Republican majorities in the House and Senate are circumventing public debate by introducing bills with little notice, if any, and using their numerical advantage to push them through the chambers quickly.

"They simply are imposing their will," said Rep. Rick Glazier, D-Cumberland.

Two abortion bills began as measures to restrict foreign laws in state family courts and to improve motorcycle safety. GOP lawmakers tacked the abortion regulations on during committee meetings without telling Democrats of the proposed changes – anti-abortion lobbyists were notified in advance of the Senate's actions – and had both bills approved within a day.

Likewise, the House on Thursday passed a comprehensive regulatory reform bill a day after GOP lawmakers changed a Senate bill initially intended to change certain environmental laws.

"Transparency is critical," Glazier said. "It's critical for not only a better product, but it's critical for the confidence of the public about what's happening here."

Republican lawmakers say more notice would do little to change the outcomes – they have the numbers to pass their agenda. They also say there's not enough time in the session to allow public comment on every controversial bill, adding that Election Day gives the public a chance to comment on their actions.

On the Record On the Record: Abortion changes bring up transparency debate

Also, many Republicans say, their actions are business as usual at the General Assembly.

"Let me tell you about process. Let's talk about the Election Reform Act of 2004, 2006, 2008. They were always heard around 2 o'clock in the morning the last night we were here," said Sen. Tom Apodaca, R-Henderson. "The Racial Justice Act, it reappeared one afternoon and caught us all off guard."

Glazier said citing past Democratic wrongs is a poor defense.

"Two wrongs don't make a right. It's what we teach our kids," he said. "If it was done wrong and you complained about it before, to say, 'Well, you did it' is the height of governmental immaturity."

Republican Lt. Gov. Dan Forest, who oversees the Senate and ordered protesters out last week after they voiced their displeasure over the passage of the first abortion bill, insists that the majority party isn't doing anything improper.

"My job is to make sure everyone abides by the rules and ensure the rules are followed, and the rules have been followed. They really have," Forest said.

39 Comments

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  • Steve Mchugelarge Jul 16, 2013

    Two wrongs dont make a right but it's different when we do it. We dont like the GOP using our rules and tactics against us. There is a level of hypocrisy and double standards we have to uphold here!

  • JohnFLob Jul 15, 2013

    "Democrats have repeatedly cried foul during the six-month session, saying the Republican majorities in the House and Senate are circumventing public debate by introducing bills with little notice, if any, and using their numerical advantage to push them through the chambers quickly."

    Why do Harry Reid (D Nevada), Nancy Pelosi (D California), Chuck Schemer (D New York), Barack Obama (D Illinois) and 'Obamacare' all come to mind. Just love those press conferences which exclude the press.

  • tracmister Jul 15, 2013

    Yes but the Republicans claimed that this style of government would end.

  • dumbhick Jul 15, 2013

    livinggood2 -"Over 100 years of rule from Democrats have made this state one of the worst states to do buisness in".
    -----------------------------------------------------------
    WSJ Market Watch, Top 10 U.S. cities for growing businesses
    #10 Raleigh, N.C. - Research Triangle Park

    Facts don't get in the way of a good ole partisan rant do they?

    (You'll have to google the story -Tried to post a link to it but if you take the space from between the words "market" and the word "watch" the bolo robots find a four letter combination that "could potentially be considered inappropriate to some of our visitors". SHEEZE!)

  • dumbhick Jul 15, 2013

    "Two wrongs don't make a right. It's what we teach our kids," he said. "If it was done wrong and you complained about it before, to say, 'Well, you did it' is the height of governmental immaturity."

    "governmental immaturity" - That just about sums up politics in this country.

  • livinggood2 Jul 14, 2013

    Over 100 years of rule from Democrats have made this state one of the worst states to do buisness in.....Republicans will change this.Once it is changed and the state gets back in shape the uninformed will place the Democrats back in..what a cycle.

  • saturn5 Jul 14, 2013

    And how is this different from any Democrat controlled majority? They just don't like it when they're not the ones doing it.

  • Dnut Jul 14, 2013

    man, if this is what republican voters elect in NC it was best for this state that dems did the same thing for years - under the dems this state became a shining image of what could be. Personally, I could tell you what I didn't like under the dems - the ridiculous anti-worker laws are first and foremost but this state overall worked fairly well for most, the infrastructure was decent, education good (for the south), environment a priority (for the south) these reps have taken a state that year after year was in the top 10 of best places to do business and knocked it off the list. They are attacking womens health, education, environment, mortgage interest deduction, on and on -
    melanie3
    >>>You too funny....talk about lib talking points....

  • wayneboyd Jul 14, 2013

    Thanks to jrferguson for a glimpse at the unbiased truth.
    It took a hundred years of vote buying by some to bring N.C. down to where she is, and the damage cannot be repaired overnight. Give the Republicans their time in office, the majority voted them in, and at the end of their term if they have not kept their promise,(they won't be the only liars ever elected in N.C..) and I'll help vote them out.

  • ratracehwy64 Jul 14, 2013

    I don't trust either parties

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