Today@NCCapitol (March 15): Two confirmation hearings mark Ides of March

Posted March 15

This is a view from the back of the North Carolina Legislative Building.

— While Julius Caesar would have done well to have been a little more careful on the Ides of March, there are no indications the sharp knives are out for either of the cabinet secretaries facing confirmation hearings Wednesday.

The Senate has already confirmed Military and Veterans Affairs Secretary Larry Hall, even after a protracted and public disagreement over whether the confirmation process is constitutional. A three-judge Superior Court panel has been weighing that question for more than a week, but it's unclear when there might be a ruling.

Wednesday at noon, Secretary Jim Trogden, Gov. Roy Cooper's pick to head the Department of Transportation, will go before the Senate Transportation Committee. At 2 p.m., Public Safety Secretary Erik Hooks goes before the Senate Judiciary Committee. The state Ethics Commission has ruled that neither Trogden nor Hooks has any potential conflicts of interest.

The Senate Nominations Committee is scheduled to meet at 5 p.m. If it follows the pattern set by Hall, that committee will vote to send both Trogden's and Hooks' nominations to the Senate floor for approval.

Committees: The General Assembly publishes a full committee calendar daily. In addition to the confirmation hearings, we'll be keeping an eye on the House Health Committee, which is scheduled to take up a bill to allow certain nurses to operate more independently. WRAL.com plans to carry that meeting live online at 11 a.m.

Floor sessions: The state House meets at 2 p.m. and has a trio of non-controversial bills on its calendar.

The state Senate convenes at 9:30 a.m. for a non-voting session but will hold votes later in the afternoon. The 2016 Regulatory Reform bill, which has changes to state environmental policies left over from last year's session, is scheduled to face a floor vote.

Governor: Cooper will speak to the Economic Developers Association and the Head Start Association.

Buzz: A bipartisan group of lawmakers will hold a news conference at 12:30 p.m. to introduce a bill to limit the use of bee-killing pesticides.


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