As this week's short constitutional session drew to a close, House Speaker Thom Tillis announced this morning that Granville Democrat Jim Crawford had been given an Appropriations chairmanship.
Crawford was one of the leaders of the "Party of Five" - the five House Democrats who broke with their caucus to support the GOP-written budget earlier this year. At the time, he was rumored to be seeking a budget chairmanship.
He also voted with the Republican majority on other key bills, helping to enable several veto overrides as well as the constitutional same-sex marriage ban approved this week.
After session, Tillis said he appointed Crawford to the budget committee because the Granville Democrat "was one of the key leaders from the Democrat caucus that came together to work with us to have a bipartisan budget.”
“We want to build on that success, and I’m hoping by doing that, we’ll even have greater support for anything that we have to do with the budget or other matters going into the short session.”
Crawford has plenty of budget-writing experience: he was an Appropriations chair under the Democrats in recent years.
He's the only House Democrat with a committee chairmanship except for Minority Leader Joe Hackney, who co-chairs the Ethics Committee.
Tillis also announced two other committee leadership changes: Rep. Nelson Dollar, R-Wake, will also become an Approps chair. He also chairs Health and Human Services and Redistricting. But he'll give up a gavel on the Appropriations Subcommittee on Health and Human Services to Rep. Marilyn Avila, R-Wake, who's trading up from her current chairmanship of the House Commerce and Job Development Subcommittee on Science and Technology.
The changes, Tillis explained, were prompted by the recent resignations of Reps. Jeff Barnhart, R-Cabarrus, and Johnathan Rhyne, R-Lincoln.