Republicans hold a 30-20 veto-proof supermajority in the 50-member State Senate, which will be led for a seventh term by President Pro Tempore Phil Berger (R-Rockingham). The GOP fell one seat short of a supermajority in the 120-member State House, where it now holds a 71-49 advantage over Democrats. The House again will be led by Speaker Tim Moore (R-Cleveland), who will be serving a record fifth term as that chamber’s top leader. Securing the two-thirds majority necessary to override a gubernatorial veto has become increasingly significant, as Democratic Governor Roy Cooper employed his VETO stamp dozens of times last session to effectively override measures passed by the Republican-led legislature.
The 2023 Session is expected to be quite active with debates reigniting over Medicaid expansion, sports gambling, and marijuana legalization, all of which were debated last session but were not enacted into law.
The General Assembly is also expected to consider legislation to further protect unborn children following the U.S. Supreme Court’s Dobbs decision last summer that overturned Roe v. Wade and returned decision-making authority over abortion to the states. North Carolina law currently prohibits abortion after 20 weeks, except for cases of a “medical emergency.” NC Family and a number of other pro-life groups are pursuing the passage of a “Heartbeat Bill” that would protect unborn life after a fetal heartbeat is detected, typically around 6-8 weeks of gestational development.
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