January NCPA legislative news

The 2019 'long' session of the General Assembly  -- the longest session in the past century -- ended with several special sessions devoted primarily to budget issues and saw the General Assembly majority propose a series of mini-budgets covering a public school teacher pay raise and Medicaid funding. ( Although the General Assembly passed the 3.9% teacher pay raise mini budget bill, the Governor vetoed it as insufficient, and negotiations over teacher pay raise and will likely continue into the 2020 short session.) The last of the special sessions, January 14, was thought to be an effort by the Senate Republican leadership to override the earlier 2019 veto of the full state budget by Governor Cooper.  Instead, the General Assembly adjourned without overriding any additional vetoes of pending legislation and announced plans to return to Raleigh for the regular "short" session beginning Thursday, April 28.  There is speculation that the short session will conclude in record time, perhaps by Memorial Day.
In the meantime, the NC Press Association lobbying team in Raleigh is remaining vigilant on the legal advertising front.  At least 2 other states -- Kentucky and Florida -- have already seen legislation filed there that would eliminate legal advertising, as presently structured.
Long range plans continue.  Efforts are under way to discuss the possibility of placing a constitutional amendment on a statewide ballot in the near future, while all eyes are on the November 2020 elections for potential changes in the General Assembly leadership.  Notably, Senate Majority Leader and lead Senate budget writer Harry Brown (R-Onslow) announced that he will not seek re-election in 2020.