Air traffic controllers at RDU and elsewhere are distributing fliers at airports pleading for an end to the government shutdown: "No one should be under the illusion that it's business for usual for aviation safety during the shutdown." TSA workers at RDU protested the shutdown yesterday. Continue to call, fax, or text Senators Burr (202-224-3154) and Tillis (202-224-6342): "Congress must open the government NOW and override a White House veto if needed. The shutdown is the national security emergency, not the border. Are you waiting for a safety-related plane crash before you'll act?" Join MoveOn's Jan 29 Day of Action, Shut Down the Wall, Open the Government, with Tuesdays with Tillis, 11:30am in Raleigh. Details.
The NC General Assembly (NCGA) begins it's biennial long session on Wednesday, Jan 30, at 12N. The Republican veto-proof super-majority is GONE (thanks in part to YOUR hard work last year), AND the Republicans remain in the majority - until 2020 :-). What can we expect from this session?
Gov. Cooper and the Republican leaders have been at odds since before his inauguration - remember that Dec. 2015 Special Session that was devoted to stripping the governor of as much power as possible? Most of those ploys ended up in court, and many were decided in the governor's favor - and that bad taste lingers on both sides. Cooper definitely has more power now that the NCGA can't automatically override his vetoes, and it doesn't mean he'll get his way without a fight.
Predictable contentious issues include:
- The lingering controversy over the NC CD-9 election, with the new state Board of Elections being formed next week and completing and releasing the results of its investigation. It's widely expected that there will be a new election, likely (and not certainly) with a new primary.
- Passing a budget, which may be problematic given the different goals of the governor and the Republicans
- Enactment details and funding for the new voter photo ID requirement
- Redistricting reform
- Funding public education (and charter schools)
- Hurricane recovery (now with federal funds stalled during the shut-down) and environmental regulation
- Medicaid expansion and "closing the health insurance gap" for self-employed and lower-income folks.
Look into the crystal ball of NC politics from different perspectives:
- If past is prologue, buckle up, Carolina Press
- NC legislature plans session agenda, The Times News
- State policy agendas sound familiar, Carolina Journal
- Eight bold predictions for NC politics, Longleaf Politics.
If you're near the Triangle or willing to drive to Raleigh, the N&O is holding a free community forum on what's ahead for this legislative session on Jan 30, 7-8:30pm, NC Museum of History. Sounds like a great panel! Register here.
Looking into another crystal ball - Mecklenburg County Commissioner and attorney, Trevor Fuller, joins Raleigh attorney Eva Lee in challenging US Senator Thom Tillis in 2020. Tillis needs to go, whoever can muster the backing to replace him. He claims to be a moderate, but he's been a reliable yes vote for his president and party.
We'll end with a teaser: where do you think your town/city ranks on a list of NC's most political towns? Andrew Dunn with Longleaf Politics has combed through data and compiled some lists - and there are some surprises! Check it out and see where your town ranks.
And one last look into today's crystal ball!