A Page from Patsy
No, you haven’t been deleted from my e-mail list. Rather, the General Assembly has not been in session since September, so I had no Raleigh insight to share. We went back this week for a one day session on Monday to vote on a “curative” bill to fix a “computer glitch” which left 480,000 voters unassigned to a precinct for either, the State House, the State Senate or a Congressional District. Perhaps splitting too many precincts caused the program to malfunction.
In any case, it was the only business of the day, but we didn’t adjourn until nearly 8:00 p.m. At that time, the adjournment resolution called us back into three more mini-sessions between now and May when the biennial short session begins. The upshot to the additional sessions is that the Governor’s vetoes remain on the agenda so that the majority party can attempt to override them at any session where there might be a Democrat or two missing for whatever reason.
Redistricting is, of course, the major issue for which we will return. There are currently two challenges in the courts and both will likely be appealed to the NC Supreme Court. The result is, nobody knows when or how the new districts will be resolved. What is known is that nobody can file for office until the districts are completely approved and that may take quite a while. If it takes too long, the current districts may be in effect for the 2012 election. Only time will tell.
In Raleigh on Monday, I met with the Business Caucus, then participated in a press conference where I advocated for the public schools. In the caucus meeting we heard from two small business owners who were concerned with lack of lending from the banks and the decrease in Medicaid reimbursements. Both are issues I have heard many times here in Buncombe County. We also heard from three members of the Occupy Raleigh movement. Each spoke from his or her own personal view and each articulated socioeconomic concerns ranging from alarm over voter ID efforts, cuts in the education budget, to critical state infrastructure needs, low paying or nonexistent jobs and control over elected officials by wealthy corporations.
Although I have not spent much of the summer in Raleigh, I have enjoyed working with numerous individuals and groups here in Buncombe. It has been my pleasure to meet personally with members of our local State Highway Patrol, agencies which work with and for our aging population, a couple of young men who feel the need for a third party, speak to a class at Erwin Middle School, attend dedications for new programs and participate in several board meetings among other things. My constituency work through phone and e-mail continues with the able assistance of my LA in Raleigh. Representing you in the General Assembly remains stimulating and rewarding. Thank you for giving me this opportunity!