NC General Assembly Opens 2011 Session

The NCGA opened Wednesday with the expected fanfare of a new majority and the election of the presumptive leaders. Sen. Phil Berger (R-Rockingham) will be the Senate President Pro Tempore. Rep. Thom Tillis (R-Mecklenburg) will be the Speaker of the House. 

The Legislature faces significant challenges ahead with a budget shortfall expected to top $3.7 Billion. Massive reductions will be necessary if Republicans are to hold true to their promise to raise no new taxes and allow existing temporary taxes to expire this year. Appropriation Chairs from both Chambers have been at work with staff to address these shortfalls. NCMS has been working to address the additional 4.04% Medicaid rate cut that still looms for the remainder of this year with budget leaders. 

Republicans wasted no time in the House with the first committee meeting being called on the second day of session. House Judiciary met to take up House Bill 2 – Protect Healthcare Freedom.  Sponsors explained that this bill would protect North Carolinians from the mandate to purchase insurance or pay a fine outlined in the Accountable Care Act. It would further direct the Attorney General for NC to join the 26-State suit against the Federal Government or file our own suit. The bill passed along party lines after more than an hour of debate. It is expected to be brought to the House floor for the first of two required votes early next week.


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