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Old North State Report – Oct. 30, 2023
Monday, October 30, 2023


New state and congressional legislative district lines were passed into law by the North Carolina General Assembly on Wednesday. Although the changes are anticipated to be challenged in court, the new maps will be used in every election from 2024 through 2030.

House Bill 898, which drew the state's 120 House districts, was approved by senators 27–17 along party lines on Wednesday morning. Senate Bill 758, which drew the state's 50 Senate districts, was approved 28–17, finalizing the former and sending the latter to the House.

The 14 congressional districts in the state were redrawn by Senate Bill 758 and Senate Bill 757, which were discussed in two committee hearings in the lower house. Finally, on party line votes of 63–40 and 64–40, respectively, Senate Bills 758 and 757 both passed the Senate.

Senate Bill 757 is anticipated to change the state's congressional delegation from a 7–7 split to a majority of at least 10 Republicans, with one eastern district remaining undecided. In two districts, Wake County and Mecklenburg County, Senate Democrats are double-bunked. No incumbent members running for reelection are double-bunked in the state House districts under House Bill 898.

Extensive analysis of the maps including the partisan leanings of the North Carolina House and Senate districts can be found here (courtesy of Andy Jackson of the John Locke Foundation): What are the Partisan Leanings of North Carolina’s Proposed Legislative Maps?

Read more by The Center Square


With the passage of Senate Bill 761 on Wednesday, appointments have been made to influential state boards and commissions such as those who regulate the judiciary, elections, utilities, and transportation.

Former Republican lawmakers Tommy Tucker and Bill Brawley will join the Utilities Commission as a result of the bill that was approved along party lines on Wednesday. Dan Gurley, a policy advisor to House Speaker Tim Moore, and former Representative Roger West (R-Cherokee) will join the Board of Transportation. West's current term on the Ethics Commission will be filled by former Representative Larry Yarborough (R-Person).

Additionally, the bill designates the Republican members of the new State Board of Elections, which will take the place of the current board appointed by the governor. Alongside current Republican elections board members, Stacy Eggers and Kevin Lewis join Wake County elections board member Angela Hawkins and former Lincoln County Commissioner Martin Oakes. Four board members will also be appointed at a later date by legislative Democrats.

Additional judicial branch appointments, including special Superior Court judge positions previously filled by the governor, are now available to the legislature thanks to this year's change. House Speaker Tim Moore's former chief of staff, Clayton Somers, and former N.C. Court of Appeals candidate, Beth Freshwater-Smith, are among the new judges who could serve on three-judge panels to hear cases involving lawsuits that challenge legislation.

Read more by WUNC


As the legislature essentially adjourns this year's session, Senate Bill 761 was one of the final votes. Originally scheduled to conclude in July, lawmakers were forced to extend the session into the fall due to a protracted impasse between Senate and House Republicans over the budget plan.

According to Senate Leader Phil Berger, it is unlikely that the legislature will reconvene to vote on measures until the "short session" of the following year, which starts on April 24. However, until then, the adjournment resolution establishes dates for meetings about once a month until the short session convenes:

  • November 29, 2023
  • December 20, 2023
  • January 17, 2024
  • February 14, 2024
  • March 13, 2024
  • April 10, 2024

According to Berger, those "skeletal" sessions — which are scheduled in case lawmakers need to address court orders in various cases challenging new legislation or if other unforeseen needs arise — will probably be no-vote sessions.

This week marks the end of a session in which Republicans were able to accomplish a large portion of their program with a veto-proof majority. Pro-life measures, a significant expansion of school choice, extensive modifications to election laws, and regulation of transgender healthcare and sports participation were all passed by lawmakers.

They will, however, adjourn without adopting the Senate's plans to legalize medicinal marijuana and open casinos. Furthermore, a House bill mandating that sheriffs abide by ICE immigration detainers was never taken up by the Senate. Legislative leaders have hinted that some of those bills would come up again in the upcoming year.

Read more by WUNC

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