Today @NCCapitol (7/7): Skeleton sessions, voting law in court

Posted July 7, 2014
Updated July 8, 2014

NC Legislative Building

— Good morning and welcome to Today @NCCapitol for Monday, July 7. Here's what's going on at the General Assembly and around state government.

THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY: Both the House and Senate will hold pro forma skeleton sessions at 4 p.m. The House plans to hold skeleton sessions all week. Senate staffers said Thursday they believed senators would return to work on Tuesday, but that is subject to change. 

Both chambers are focusing this week on bridging differences on major pieces of legislation, including a bill governing the clean up of coal ash ponds throughout the state and the state budget for the coming year. 

VOTING LAW IN COURT: A North Carolina law passed last year that requires voters to present photo identification and eliminates same-day voter registration has been called one of the farthest-reaching overhauls to election rules in the country. Now, a judge will decide whether it will stay that way.

A confederation of challengers, including the U.S. Department of Justice, the North Carolina NAACP, the League of Women Voters and the American Civil Liberties Union will argue against state lawyers Monday in U.S. District Court in Winston-Salem.

U.S. attorneys and civil rights groups are asking a judge for a preliminary injunction to temporarily delay implementation of parts of the law. The hearing is a prelude to a trial scheduled for July 2015, when a judge will determine whether to uphold or strike down the law.

ENERGY HEARING: The North Carolina Utilities Commission will start the process of setting the rates power companies should pay for solar energy. The state requires utilities to buy or make a small percentage of their power from renewable sources. In North Carolina, energy options, especially solar, are booming these days.

What you missed this weekend

On the Record On the Record: Evaluating NCTracks one year later MEDICAID: A year after the rollout of the NCTracks system for paying Medicaid claims, DHHS Chief Information Officer Joe Cooper examined the progress and problems of the program on Saturday's "On the Record" with WRAL News anchor David Crabtree and Capitol Bureau Chief Laura Leslie.

Related: The News & Observer published a series examining Medicaid over the weekend looking at, among other things, whether the state's health insurance system for the poor and disabled is truly broken and whether the system's managers have the background to manage such a complex enterprise.

WOMEN: Women make up half of North Carolina’s population but occupy only 22 percent of seats in the statehouse, the vestige of a thick glass ceiling that still lingers over the lawmaking body. North Carolina ranks among the lower half of states in terms of female legislators, according to April data from the National Conference of State Legislatures. Colorado has the highest percentage of female lawmakers, at 41 percent, while Louisiana has the lowest, at 13 percent. 

POPE: To critics, Republican Art Pope has gotten just what he wanted during his first 18 months as Gov. Pat McCrory’s state budget director by exerting too much influence on taxes and other issues.

Pope’s defenders say it’s ludicrous to believe the retail store chief executive pulls the strings of state government. They point to policies McCrory espouses that run counter to the views of Pope or conservative think tanks his family has given tens of millions of dollars to over the years.


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  • goldenosprey Jul 8, 2014

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    First of all, I've purchased three firearms without showing ID. It's easy.

    Second, guns tend to kill more people than votes. Oops! Gunmen tend to kill more people than voters.

  • Danny22 Jul 8, 2014

    We already determined that we had 20,000+ in the 2012 election who voted in NC who were also registered in other states. and we only have cross checks with 28 states. And there were dead people who voted. We have to clean this up. Actually, 1 or 2 days to vote would be ideal. I don't know why the "MORAL" folks wouldn't stand up for a FAIR election. We all know why they want no IDs.

  • miseem Jul 7, 2014

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    Unless it's against your religion. And you are the only one that has to determine that. According to the Supreme Court.

  • miseem Jul 7, 2014

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    They may not want to defend it - it's easier to stick with the voter ID issue. But they are not against it happening. Fewer voters, especially those of the Democratic persuasion, are their goal.

  • heelhawk Jul 7, 2014

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    Photo IDs are a Poll Tax and therefore illegal. You can spout all the rhetoric that you want, but it doesn't change the fact that they will be found unconstitutional.

    Not everyone can vote on the single Thursday. Welcome to the 21st century where lives are complex and you can't just take the afternoon off from the pig farm to head to the polls. My job often causes me to travel.....are you suggesting that I quit to vote, or just not vote? Neither seems like a good option, but I'm interested in your opinion.

  • Kenny Dunn Jul 7, 2014
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    Yes, we understand there are those who think the fewer voters the better. Which is the tactic used to get a SSM ban into the NC constitution. That does not make it right or just, however.

  • Doug Pawlak Jul 7, 2014
    user avatar

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    You can already buy any long rifle you want without showing an ID off the internet. Now what was that bit about voter ID laws?


  • Jack Jones Jul 7, 2014
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    Most people realize the population has grown substantially, and it's cost-prohibitive to purchase all the equipment, then organize personnel to vote in one day. That's another voter suppression plan you can neatly print it on a post card to your representative though.

  • icdumbpeople Jul 7, 2014

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    I like the way you think...

  • Mee Jul 7, 2014

    -Anyone that votes must show a valid picture ID
    -Election DAY is just that, ONE DAY (open 24 hours--or until the line is gone)

    Yes both those will make some folks angry and have them screaming "it's NOT FAIR". Well NEWS FLASH. Life is not fair, never has been, never will be.