Local Politics

Perdue seeks redistricting panel, session limits

Posted December 15, 2010

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— In a rare appearance by a governor before a legislative committee, Gov. Beverly Perdue on Wednesday asked state lawmakers to keep the sessions of the General Assembly short and to create a special commission to handle redistricting next year.

Perdue also asked that lawmakers remove a provision that exempts them and their staff members from state open records laws.

The governor told members of a House budget committee that North Carolina's financial situation is dire and that Republicans and Democrats need to work together to close a projected $3.7 billion shortfall without affecting state services too much.

Last week, she proposed consolidating several state agencies, freezing state hiring and a legislative review of scores of state-funded boards and commissions as ways to streamline government and save money.

"I ask you to help me transform North Carolina's government and services as we also transform the way this body works," Perdue told lawmakers Wednesday. "We have a significant and powerful opportunity to write this chapter of our state's history."

She asked that legislative sessions be limited to 90-days in odd-numbered years, when lawmakers hammer out details of the two-year state budget, and to 45 days in even-numbered years. That would save money and eliminate much of the partisan bickering that has marked recent sessions, she said.

Although lawmakers embraced the concept of shorter sessions, some were skeptical of the governor weighing in on the issue.

"I hope we don't go to any mandatory session limits," House Speaker Joe Hackney said.

"Whether we do that with a constitutional amendment or just through discipline and common sense is something we'll work out in the session," said Rep. Thom Tillis, R-Mecklenburg, who will become House speaker next month.

North Carolina flag, NC flag, state flag, N.C. flag Lawmakers skeptical of Perdue's requests

Perdue also wants lawmakers to create a bipartisan citizens commission to aid with drawing the new boundaries of congressional and legislative voting districts.

Republicans have sought such a panel for years, but the Democratic legislative majority never took up the issue. The GOP now controls both the House and Senate, following major victories in last month's election.

Perdue oversaw the Senate 10 years ago as lieutenant governor during the last redistricting, but she never asked for a bipartisan group to assist that process. She said Wednesday that no one ever asked her for such a panel.

"I don't recall a lot of discussion about it when the Democrats were in control," she said.

Republicans said it's too late to form a commission, but they promised fair districts.

"It seems a bit disingenuous to me to call on us to do something we've been asking for at a time to do it right before the redistricting year," Tillis said.

Finally, she said, lawmakers' e-mails, letters and phone logs regarding bills under consideration should be subject to state open records law.

"We appreciate her candor and feedback, and in that spirit we hope she's ready to accept our candor and feedback," Tillis said.

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  • etshoney Dec 17, 2010

    WOW! This woman is something else. I really think the problem with progressives is their lack of MEMORY. It seem to be a common aliment among them. I guess things change when they lose. I am so SICK of this garbage! She announced it in the spring......that's a new one on me and she KNEW in the spring after the health care war that they were in DEEP TROUBLE. She was trying to cover herself. Take a look at her numbers. She is in trouble and will do anything to survive.

  • ratherbnwpb Dec 16, 2010

    Actually, she announced this in the Spring time. Well before the election predictions had the house being won by the GOP on Nate Silvers site.
    MakoII

    Those Conservative types missed that part as usual! They just love to complain!

  • MakoII Dec 16, 2010

    tgentry1005,

    Actually, she announced this in the Spring time. Well before the election predictions had the house being won by the GOP on Nate Silvers site.

  • tgentry1005 Dec 16, 2010

    It is very interesting that Madam Perdue wants to change the way things work after the Dems are out of power while she wanted nothing to do with it for the last two years when the same projections were being made!!!!!!!!!

    That shows what she the the other liberials think of the citizens of the Old North State. It ain't what is best for the ciitzens but what is best for the politicians.

    If it is best for the citizens then it should be done regardless of who is in power.

  • MakoII Dec 16, 2010

    It will be illustrative of who posts today. You'll be able to find the State Workers. They're the ones who don't post as usual! ;)

  • ratherbnwpb Dec 16, 2010

    ratherbnwpb - 'or really justify changing any.' The justification comes from the way the libs previously drew the districts. Take a look at the 12th district and if there's anything besides liberal politics that justifies the demographics, I'm all ears. And we'd rather you'd be in wpb too!
    Z Man

    Keep dreaming, its okay, really it is!

  • Z Man Dec 16, 2010

    ratherbnwpb - 'or really justify changing any.' The justification comes from the way the libs previously drew the districts. Take a look at the 12th district and if there's anything besides liberal politics that justifies the demographics, I'm all ears. And we'd rather you'd be in wpb too!

  • ratherbnwpb Dec 16, 2010

    They need to draw the districts such that all liberals are in a single district and the rest of the districts are conservative. Now that the conservatives are doing the drawing, the dems all of a sudden want everyone to play fair.
    Z Man

    Well boys and girls, if you read the latest estimates and FACTS and figures based on the Census, not much has changed population wise. North Carolina according to that CENSUS didnt gain that much of a population increase to either gain an extra congressional district or really justify changing any. Some of you cant seem to grasp that much of redistricting is based on population change. Some states as SC will gain a seat, while others lose or dont change.

  • Z Man Dec 16, 2010

    They need to draw the districts such that all liberals are in a single district and the rest of the districts are conservative. Now that the conservatives are doing the drawing, the dems all of a sudden want everyone to play fair.

  • ratherbnwpb Dec 16, 2010

    When they redistric, they need to draw large contiguous blocks based only on population count.

    They need a computer program to draw districts in squares or rectangles as much as possible with the same amount of people in each district without regard to race, gender, sexual preference, age, political affiliation etc...
    DontLikeTheSocialistObama

    Yeah, and I guess you want little Sesame Street characters jumping up and down and singing to huh?

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