Local News

N.C. Lawmakers Look To Other States For Leadership Model

Posted January 31, 2003

— The state House is entering uncharted waters as its members negotiate a co-speaker arrangement after failing to elect a leader.

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Are co-speakers a good idea?

After six votes, the chamber's 60 Democrats and 60 Republicans couldn't agree on a speaker on Wednesday or Thursday. They went home for the weekend to consider a proposal that the parties share all leadership positions equally for the next two years.

Lawmakers are turning to other states with split chambers to determine which leadership models work and which don't.

A Republican proposal would have a Democrat - incumbent Speaker Jim Black of Mecklenburg - and a Republican, likely Rep. George Holmes of Yadkin County, serving as co-speakers. Each would preside alternately at floor sessions.

Black said his team will look at the proposal over the weekend. But both sides now have more time to form a coalition that would avoid the need for co-speakers.

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