Members of the North Carolina House and Senate will meet in Raleigh next Wednesday at noon to kick off the two-year 2019-2020 Legislative Biennium. According to state statute, the purpose of next week’s meeting is to “elect officers, adopt rules, and otherwise organize the session.” In addition to formally swearing in new members, it is expected that State Representative Tim Moore (R-Cleveland) will be elected to his third term as Speaker of the NC House, and Senator Phil Berger (R-Rockingham) will be elected to his fifth term as President Pro Tempore of the NC Senate.
Following the 2018 General Election, Republicans maintained majorities in both chambers of the NC General Assembly but lost veto-proof supermajorities. In the NC House, the GOP majority shrank from a 75-45 margin to a 65-55 advantage, while the majority in the NC Senate was reduced from 35-15 to a 29-21 GOP advantage. While the previous supermajorities have allowed the Republican-led General Assembly to override the veto of Democratic Governor Roy Cooper almost at will, these reduced margins are expected to result in frequent standoffs between the executive and legislative branches during the next two years.
The 2019 “Long” Legislative Session will then reconvene on Wednesday, January 30 when state lawmakers return to Raleigh to begin their business in earnest. North Carolina does not have a session limit, as many other states have, so we do not know exactly how long the “Long” Session will last. The “second half” of the two-year biennium, frequently referred to as the “Short” session, will convene in May 2020 and is designed to deal mostly with budgetary matters.
For more information about the North Carolina General Assembly, visit the newly revised legislative website at: https://www.ncleg.gov.
To identify who represents you in the NC House and NC Senate, visit the “Who Represents Me” page.