Wednesday Wrap: Beware Ides of March

Posted March 15

— North Carolina lawmakers were more cordial Wednesday to members of Gov. Roy Cooper's cabinet than their Roman counterparts were to Julius Caesar on the Ides of March more than 2000 years ago.

Both Transportation Secretary Jim Trogdon and Public Safety Secretary Erik Hooks sailed through confirmation hearings, and the Senate was set to vote on their confirmations Thursday.

Cooper has argued that the confirmation process is unconstitutional, but his cabinet members are going through hearings under subpoena while a three-judge panel weighs the legality of the new law that created the process. Subpoenas have been issued for several other agency heads, and more hearings are set in the next two weeks.

More legal wrangling is going on over control of North Carolina's public school system. Superintendent of Public Instruction Mark Johnson expressed frustration over the State Board of Education's insistence on filling positions in his administration as the two sides wait for another three-judge panel to determine the constitutionality of a provision in a new state law that shifts power from the state board to Johnson.

Meanwhile, the state House easily approved a measure that would increase the weight given to student academic growth when grading school performance. That bill now heads to the Senate.

A House committee took public comments on a bill that would end physician oversight of some advanced practice nurses, pitting members of the two professions against one another.


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