We’ve got big plans for the end of the 2019 North Carolina Legislative session: a big issue exploring all the bills our local reps sponsored, how they voted on key policies, which ones got through and which were left to die in committee.
It’s a fantastic way to keep tabs on our elected officials and get some insight as to how they work, which is why we do it every year.
North Carolina is one of a few states that has no limits set for the length of its legislative sessions, which means that we could be sitting on this thing until Thanksgiving.
This term our state legislature has been characterized by an inability to govern, outside crowd-pleasing bills that allow dogs in breweries or better fireworks. They’ve created illegitimate districts, and the victors in these questionable elections have made changes to our state constitution, which may or may not be legal. They’re trotting out social issues that divide the electorate neatly in two — a hallmark of North Carolina politics, to be sure — while ignoring the serious issues on which most of us agree, like clean water, quality education and jobs that pay enough so we can stay on top of things, and maybe get a little bit ahead.
This term our state legislature has been characterized by an inability to govern.
Right now, it’s the budget that’s jamming up the works, and the prospect of a Medicaid expansion that by all measures would be a great boon to millions of North Carolinians with inadequate healthcare, and for which the Republicans, on principle and promise, cannot vote.
They need eight Democrats to cross the line, and that’s what we’re all waiting for.
And so we’ve got divided houses in the General Assembly that thinly favor the GOP, a Democrat governor and an electorate with nothing to do about it until 2020, by which time the deck of public opinion will have been reshuffled several more times.
Odd are we will still be pretty much divided in half.
Perhaps this sort of stalemate is what the founders had in mind when they created the checks and balances, a means of preventing a slight majority from imposing sweeping changes on a significant minority.
But the reality is that this session must eventually end; a budget, by law, must be passed. At some point, our government must start governing. And our 2019 legislative issue will find a home on the calendar, which at this point looks to be the middle of football season.