Republicans step up to bat

The new Republican majority in the North Carolina General Assembly came ready to play on the first day of the 2011 session yesterday, Jan. 26, immediately introducing bills to forbid contraints on “health care freedom” and to amend the N.C. Constitution to prohibit use of eminent domain for economic development purposes. Sen. Tom Apodaca (R) of Hendersonville (Dist. 48) even changed the traditional rules of the game.

Apodaca, the incoming rules chairman, added a new layer of control in the permanent Senate rules adopted for 2011-12 by establishing a new position of parliamentarian, to be appointed by the president pro tempore, who will be Sen. Phil Berger (R) of Eden (Dist. 26) this session. The new position will allow for appeal of rulings of the presiding officer (the state’s lieutenant governor, currently Walter Dalton, Democrat from Rutherfordton).

“This is nothing but a partisan power play,” was Dalton’s response to the rules change, as quoted by State Government Radio. In the past, the lieutenant governor has been the final arbiter of parliamentary procedure in the Senate. The new rules do allow for overruling the parliamentarian by a two-thirds majority vote of the Senate.

In other first-day action, freshman Rep. Tim Moffitt (R) from Buncombe County (Dist. 116) was one of three Western North Carolina co-sponsors introducing a health care bill (HB 2) entitled “An Act to Protect the Freedom to Choose Health Care and Health Insurance.” Reps. Phillip Frye (R) of Spruce Pine (Dist. 84) and Chuck McGrady (R) of Hendersonville (Dist. 117) also co-sponsored the bill, which is designed to circumvent provisions in the U.S. National Health Care Act by forbidding any law that compels a person to provide for health care treatment or to enroll in a public or private insurance plan. It would also forbid the imposition of a penalty, fee or tax on anyone who fails to enroll in a public or private plan.

The eminent domain bill (HB 8), entitled “An Act to Amend the Constitution of North Carolina to Prohibit Condemnation of Private Property to Convey an Interest in that Property for Economic Development and to Provide for the Payment of Just Compensation with Right of Trial by Jury in All Condemnation Cases,” was put forward by McGrady as one of three sponsors, with Frye, Guice, Moffitt and Roger West (R) of Marble (Dist. 120) among 53 co-sponsors.

Other House action included the introduction of a bill to appeal a 2009 annexation approval for the city of Kinston (HB 5), and a bill to disapprove the closure of the state’s Dorothea Dix psychiatric hospital in Raleigh (HB 4).

by Nelda Holder, Contributing Editor


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14 thoughts on “Republicans step up to bat

  1. travelah

    The eminent domain bill seems reasonable to me. Why did it take a Republican legislature to get this going?

  2. Ken Hanke

    That’s an opinion. It also fails to consider how much either party reflects the party of 100+ years ago.

  3. Ken Hanke

    But are you seriously saying that even if the other party represents nothing you believe in and a lot of things you don’t, you’d still think they should be in office because — well, it’s their turn?

  4. R.Bernier

    There comes a time when one should take a hard look around & not just go with the flow.

    One does not need to look back 100 yrs, just look at the last 8yrs in Raleigh with so many leaders in jail & a past Governor that will soon be disbar.

    Opions I say not – the past eight yrs have a proven track record which they should talk about.

    Big People Little Govt is the answer.

  5. I believe in divided government. I believe in vigorous give and take of opposing points of view. I believe competition makes for better people and political parties.

  6. Then there are these shameful and disturbing travesties that happened under a democratic majority. Shame on them for not policing their own.

    From my own experience in dealing with a local issue, I am certain these findings are just the tip of the iceburg.

  7. Ken Hanke

    From my own experience in dealing with a local issue, I am certain these findings are just the tip of the iceburg.

    I will be curious to see what you think about the new “ruling class” in a year or two.

  8. Aaron Sarver

    Glad to see the Mountain X covering the NCGA. Looking at what budget cuts will mean for communities in WNC will be tremendously important.

  9. R.Bernier

    The “ruling class” for the last 100years have us were we are now. One can not blame the other when one party has been in power for over 100yrs.

    In two years I think many will find out its not a free ride.

    Debit & job loss in NC is a major issue – cuts need to happen.

    Again, Big People Little Govt is the answer.

  10. Ken Hanke

    One can not blame the other when one party has been in power for over 100yrs.

    Good. That means I can get ready to blame the party of Chad now and you can’t blame the opposition.

    Again, Big People Little Govt is the answer.

    You ought to put that on a bumper sticker.

  11. R.Bernier

    Two points & some are not able to respond other than not to address head on & add their spin which shows above.

    Real answers & real cutts are ahead of the citizens in North Carolina which there will be some to say watch out they are going to cut schools & the kids will not even get food at lunch time.

    Put the party to the side & get the State in order.

    For some, keeping looking for Chad & bumper stickers but I will be looking for real answers to help the State of North Carolina.

    Big People Little Govt is the answer at the end of the day.


  12. bill smith

    [i]Big People Little Govt is the answer.[/i]

    “Government” is merely an extension of the people. So your statement is nonsensical. And with a nation of almost 350 million, doesn’t it make sense we would have a ‘big’ government?

    Or were you referring to Gulliver’s travels?

    [i]One can not blame the other when one party has been in power for over 100yrs.[/i]

    I can when they elect people like Chad to represent them.

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