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REPORT PREVIEW: 2020 Legislative Races to Watch

With the Republican supermajority broken in both chambers of the North Carolina Legislature following the 2018 election, 2020 will be a crucial election for both Democrats and Republicans. Republicans will be looking to hold onto their majorities, while Democrats will need to work hard to hold onto the gains they’ve made while expanding into new areas. In addition, despite their crucial role in post-census redistricting, legislative races will have to compete with Presidential, Gubernatorial, and US Senate races for attention.

Following is our initial look at the 28 House and 17 Senate districts we think will be crucial to the 2020 legislative elections. These districts were chosen based on analysis of 2018 election results and campaign finance reports, as well as long-term district data.

In the coming weeks, look for a full report with details on incumbents and their district with reports on Council of State and State Supreme Court races to follow.

These Races to Watch are an an initial look at the 2020 landscape. Redistricting litigation is ongoing at the state and federal levels and the Wake County House districts will need to be redrawn before the next election. Due to this and a number of other factors this list is likely to change as the election approaches.

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MEDICAID REPORT PART II: Republican plan won’t close the gap and will cost more

Republican health care plan could result in thousands losing coverage and is more costly and complex to implement than Medicaid expansion. Read the full report here.
  • The 2019 Republican health care planfails to cover thousands of North Carolina families.
    • Most people who lose coverage under work requirement plans are complying with requirements and are dropped due to reporting issues.
    • After Indiana implemented a plan cited as the model for the Republican plan 91,000 people were dropped from coverage
    • 17,000 Arkansans lost coverage under the state’s work requirements that were struck down by a federal judge
  • Implementation of the Republican plan would be more costly and complex than Medicaid Expansion.
    • Work requirements and premiums increase uncompensated care costs for hospitals which treat people regardless of whether or not they are insured. A system that forces more people to use the hospital to get care costs more.
    • States did not save tax dollars when they implemented work requirements and premiums.
    • Work requirements in other states have cost between $70 million and $170 million to implement, the federal government will not pay for much of the cost of implementation.

Read the full report here.

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Abortion Method Ban Filed by NC Republicans, Includes Provisions Targeting Doctors

H54, “Unborn Child Protection From Dismemberment,” is an abortion method ban that would make dilation & evacuation prodcedures, referred to in the bill as “dismemberment abortion” illegal except in the case of “serious health risk to the unborn child’s mother.” The bill intentionally uses the term of “dismemberment abortion” instead of dilation and evacuation, reflecting anti-abortion rhetoric. The bill makes exceptions for “serious heath risk to the unborn child’s mother” but does not include “psychological or emotional conditions.” Throughout, the bill refers to the patient as “the unborn child’s mother.”

H54 intentionally targets physicians who provide abortion. The bill text specifically offers civil immunity to patients, nurses, technicians, secretaries, receptionists, pharmacists, or “other employee or agent who is not a physician.” Moreover, the bill would make any physician who provides the procedure guilty of a civil offense and liable for sanction from the NC Medical Board.

Rep. Debra Conrad of Forsyth is a primary sponsor of the bill, which emerged amidst a flurry of anti-abortion legislation in early February 2019.

Read more on H54 here

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Republicans block transparency moves to start the 2019 session

TL;DR: Despite analysis things would be different, late night shenanigans and surprise conference reports are in the cards for 2019.

Pull out your parliamentary procedure handbooks, NC House members voted Wednesday on their official rules for the 2019-20 Session. Despite some analysis claiming they’d be more collaborative, Republicans blocked a number of changes to the rules that would have increased transparency in the legislative building.

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Another term for Speaker Moore and corporate interests, with the help of two Democrats

Wednesday, at the opening of the 2019-20 session of the North Carolina House, there was a contested race for House Speaker. Democrat Rep. Robert Reives nominated fellow Democrat Rep. Darren Jackson against Republican Rep. Tim Moore, seeking another term as Speaker. Moore succeeded, though, …

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The North Carolina legislature doesn't look much like North Carolina— but that is slowly changing

 We are one year out from a new census and just one month past an election that saw an increase in candidates of color and female candidates. Using census information from 2000 and updated estimates, we’ve compiled some comparison graphs to see how diverse the General Assembly is compared to the population of the state. 

As of 2000, the population of the state of North Carolina was 8,049,313. The latest population estimate from 2017 indicates that the state grew by a little over two million people over 17 years. 

Though there were shifts toward better representation of NC’s population by its elected officials, there is still a lot of room to grow. For example, according to 2017 US Census Bureau estimates, Hispanic/Latinx people make up 9.5 percent of NC’s population, but there are no NCGA members who identify as Hispanic or Latinx. White people are still overrepresented in the state legislature as they occupy only 63.1 percent of the state’s population, per 2017 estimates, but more than 70 percent of both legislative bodies.

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UPDATED: Voter ID bill sees more changes in the House, heads to Governor

Since passing the Senate, enacting legislation for the voter ID constitutional amendment saw some changes in the House Elections Committee and lawmakers finally learned the cost and appropriation for voter ID House Rules the night before it was up for a vote on the House floor.

For more details on the substance of the bill and acceptable forms of ID, check out our earlier post. Even with the House’s changes this bill still creates significant impediments to voting for many, from people in college, to lower-income people, to people who work night shifts, to people who rely on public transportation. 

The bill appropriates in total $3.1 million for fiscal year 2018-19. Of that, $2,250,000, goes to the State Board of Elections, but $1.5 million specifically designated to the DMV for loss of revenues associated with implementing this act. An additional $850,000 goes to Public Campaign Fund to be used by county boards of election for printing equipment and maintenance. The Budget and Tax Center estimated that voter ID implementation could cost the state up to $9 million and a legislative staff estimate released Tuesday showed about $17 million over five years.

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Real Facts NC Releases 2018 Election Report

Real Facts NC released a report today on key NC races in the 2018 midterm elections. Tuesday’s results included major victories with the election of Anita Earls to the NC Supreme Court, the defeat of the two “power grab” constitutional amendments, and the election of three Democrats to the NC Court of Appeals.

Democrats also broke the Republican supermajority in the NC House and, barring two potential recounts, look to have done the same in the NC Senate. Notably, first-time candidate Julie von Haefen beat long-time incumbent and chief budget writer Nelson Dollar. Democrats defeated almost all of the incumbent Wake and Mecklenburg Republicans and picked up two Western NC House seats.

Victories were dampened by the losses of close races in New Hanover County despite shifting tides in that region. Furthermore, four constitutional amendments passed, including the photo ID requirement to vote. A similar measure was previously ruled unconstitutional in 2016 for targeting African American voters “with almost surgical precision.” It is widely expected that Republican lawmakers will attempt to codify some of the same restrictions on acceptable IDs when they return to write the implementing legislation in late November. The right to hunt and fish and the victim’s rights amendments also require implementing legislation.

Some of Tuesday’s results made history, including the election of Pitt County’s first Black District Attorney Faris Dixon and first Black woman Sheriff Paula Dance. In Wake County, Gerald Baker overcame great odds to defeat four-term incumbent sheriff Donnie Harrison. John Arrowood became the first openly LGBTQ person elected to statewide office in NC and the south.

With an eye on potential recounts in Mecklenburg, the Triad, and Wilmington, here is a first look at the 2018 NC election results.

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REPORT: NC Legislature Races to Watch 2018

2018 is shaping up to be one of the most pivotal legislative elections in North Carolina history. This report has been updated to reflect spending by candidates, parties, and outside groups as well as more recent polling data in districts. As we get closer to the election, there are the 22 House and six Senate districts we believe are most likely to change parties this cycle. This report combines an analysis of district voting data, national and state polling, and qualitative factors, such as local issues and relative candidate strength.

These are analyses not endorsements: we’ve looked for races that could be competitive in the general election, but this shouldn’t be taken as an indication of support of any one candidate over another.

2018 House Races to Watch

2018 Senate Races to Watch

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The Dulin Factor: Part 1

Back in his seat, Dulin leaned over to a reporter: "Therein lies the Andy Dulin Factor," he said. "Nobody can do that as well as I can. It's not cocky. It's confident." Dulin, 52, is nothing if not confident.” (Charlotte Observer, 4/9/12)

Rep. Andy Dulin, once noted for his confident retail-style politics, has repeatedly failed to live up to his boasts. This begs the question, has the Andy Dulin Factor fizzled?

Dulin models Tommy Bahama at a 2012 Ballantyne After Dark fashion show
Photo: Ballantyne Breakfast Club

 

Dulin was called “George Bush-ish” for his fundraising in Charlotte City Council races despite several losses, but has failed to deliver in his first competitive House race

After second quarter campaign finance reports were filed last month, the Charlotte Observer reported that Democratic candidate for House District 104, lawyer Brandon Lofton, had almost twice as much on hand as the incumbent. Dulin’s City Council tactics, with money raised heavily from real estate developers who wanted his zoning votes, are not cutting it in higher profile races. Dulin, a long-time Charlotte insider, is being outraised by a first-time candidate.

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