2013 N.C. Legislature Preview | News Feature | Indy Week
Pin It

2013 N.C. Legislature Preview 

The Legislature is like high school without the acne.

The halls are loud and full of cliques. Preps: Outfitted in power suits and dresses, they congregate and preen, drink diet sodas and pop breath mints. Jocks: Garrulous, they have the broad shoulders and thick waists of someone who sacked many a quarterback in his day. Geeks: They're always carrying papers and notebooks and have the fine-lined eyes of people who actually read the bills before they vote on them. Hussies and hoods: They were the most interesting people in high school, but since their pasts render them unelectable, you won't see them at the Legislature.

What you will see in this legislative session, which convenes Jan. 30, will be unlike any other in modern North Carolina history. The Republican Party owns both House and Senate and the governorship. They've been clear about their intentions: roll back regulations, privatize certain public services, upend the tax code, slash and burn the budget.

In the following pages, we touch on several of these major issues—education, mental health reform, labor, the budget, the environment and taxes—but there are many, many more.

What the state will look like this summer after the bloodletting is almost beyond imagination. I say "almost beyond" because I used to live in Texas, with its deep corruption, high numbers of uninsured people, relentless poverty, polluted air and waterways, educational failures and socioeconomic class divisions. North Carolina, meet your future.

In the past during the rare quiet times, I would occasionally roam the halls of the Legislative Building on Jones Street. I usually would see a janitor, gloves on, as she polished bannisters, rolled a trash can down the corridors and mopped away any trace of the hundreds of hard-heeled soles that had traveled the halls that day.

Meanwhile, in committee rooms and House and Senate chambers, legislators were concocting and passing laws that likely affected that janitor. More than any elected official, she represented the millions of regular, workaday North Carolinians.

Like high school janitors, she was likely invisible to the powerbrokers. But I bet if the garbage bins overflowed, the bathrooms turned into cesspools and soda cans stacked up beneath the benches, someone would notice. Someone would call the janitor. You could say she was the most important person in the building.

Track bills, find out who represents you, see a schedule of committee meetings and more at ncga.state.nc.us.

This article appeared in print with the headline "Power trip."

Comments

Subscribe to this thread:

Add a comment

INDY Week publishes all kinds of comments, but we don't publish everything.

  • Comments that are not contributing to the conversation will be removed.
  • Comments that include ad hominem attacks will also be removed.
  • Please do not copy and paste the full text of a press release.

Permitted HTML:
  • To create paragraphs in your comment, type <p> at the start of a paragraph and </p> at the end of each paragraph.
  • To create bold text, type <b>bolded text</b> (please note the closing tag, </b>).
  • To create italicized text, type <i>italicized text</i> (please note the closing tag, </i>).
  • Proper web addresses will automatically become links.

Latest in News Feature



Twitter Activity

Comments

Thank God for Trump and his cronies, it gives people someone to blame all of our societal ills on.

by John Trololo on North Carolina Militia Activists Take Up President Trump’s Fear of a Migrant, Muslim Planet (News Feature)

Thank God for Trump and his cronies, it gives us something to blame all of our societal ills on!

by John Trololo on North Carolina Militia Activists Take Up President Trump’s Fear of a Migrant, Muslim Planet (News Feature)

Most Recent Comments

Thank God for Trump and his cronies, it gives people someone to blame all of our societal ills on.

by John Trololo on North Carolina Militia Activists Take Up President Trump’s Fear of a Migrant, Muslim Planet (News Feature)

Thank God for Trump and his cronies, it gives us something to blame all of our societal ills on!

by John Trololo on North Carolina Militia Activists Take Up President Trump’s Fear of a Migrant, Muslim Planet (News Feature)

The German pathologist on the scene at Elizabeth Ratliff's death found from spinal fluid her death and fall had been …

by Barry Bozeman on After Fifteen Years, the Michael Peterson Case Concludes But Provides Little Closure (News Feature)

Why isn't Duane Deaver being prosecuted? The State's leading witness SBI Agent Deaver is a perjurer - a LIAR who …

by Barry Bozeman on After Fifteen Years, the Michael Peterson Case Concludes But Provides Little Closure (News Feature)

An MLS team would do super well in this area. Lots of transplants from all the place, the absence of …

by HH87 on Hundreds of Liverpool FC Fans Crammed Into a Raleigh Bar to Watch a Soccer Match Five Thousand Miles Away. To Make It to MLS, North Carolina FC Needs That Kind of Devotion (News Feature)

© 2018 Indy Week • 320 E. Chapel Hill St., Suite 200, Durham, NC 27701 • phone 919-286-1972 • fax 919-286-4274
RSS Feeds | Powered by Foundation