WRAL: NC lawmakers return with open agenda
After losing their supermajorities in the House and Senate on Election Day, Republican lawmakers are holding a “lame duck” session on November 27, the week after Thanksgiving, to pass a voter ID law while Republicans still have their veto-proof majority. This is undemocratic and goes against the NCGOP’s entire reasoning for putting voter ID on the ballot in the first place.
State lawmakers will return to Raleigh Nov. 27 for a lame-duck session expected to deal with voter ID and Hurricane Florence relief. Democrats are concerned about what other proposals could emerge in the waning days of the Republicans’ veto-proof majority.
Republican leaders have said they intend to pass legislation enacting the photo identification requirement to cast a ballot that voters approved last week as a constitutional amendment. They’ll have to decide which forms of ID will be accepted, from driver’s licenses to student, military or tribal IDs, and whether the law will allow for exceptions for voters who can’t obtain an accepted form of identification.
They’re also expected to consider additional legislation dealing with Hurricane Florence recovery. Although they voted in October to approve nearly $800 million over a period of years, much of that money still has to be specifically appropriated for needs identified by state and local agencies. Lawmakers will hear reports this week on the latest damage estimates.
The November session is a continuation of the 2017-18 regular session, so it’s not subject to special rules or restrictions on content. That means anything could pop up on the agenda, including brand-new proposals to strip power from Gov. Roy Cooper. The last time they held a lame-duck session, after the 2016 elections, that’s exactly what happened.