Raleigh, N.C. — State House lawmakers voted 71-43 Monday night to approve a proposal to eliminate, fire or reconfigure more than two dozen state oversight boards.
Senate Bill 10, which would allow Republican leaders and Gov. Pat McCrory to name political appointees as replacements to the boards, is now headed back to the Senate, where it will likely be kicked to a conference committee.
The measure passed its first reading 70-42 last week after a contentious floor debate in which even some Republican members voiced concerns about the bill's hasty arrival on the floor.
Three GOP representatives – Reps. Chuck McGrady of Buncombe County, Nathan Ramsey of Buncombe County and Michael Speciale of Craven County – joined Democrats in voting against the bill Monday.
Rep. Edgar Starnes, R-Caldwell, said the move was necessary to purge state regulatory boards and commissions that, he said, "have been infiltrated with people that have a very left-leaning bent."
Rep. Deborah Ross, D-Wake, however, called it a bad bill.
"This is not a reform bill," she said. "This is a bill about securing special interest rights in very important areas of our law and our government."