Special Session - July 24th
Charlotte, NC – Legislators returned to Raleigh on Tuesday, July 24th, for a special session concerning constitutional amendments and two election-related bills. A commission is normally tasked with creating short introductions for the six constitutional amendments that will appear on the ballot in November. Republicans have voiced suspicion that the commission, which includes the Attorney General, Secretary of State, and Legislative Services Director, will not be able to write clear and unbiased introductions for the amendments. The commission currently has two Democrats and one Republican.
House Bill 3, Ballot Designations/Referenda, would label the constitutional amendments as “Constitutional Amendment,” without an introduction to explain the effects of the legislation to voters. Senate Bill 3, Party Disclosure/2018 Judicial Races, would remove political affiliation from Chris Anglin, a Supreme Court candidate, who switched from Democrat to Republican less than 90 days prior to filing.
House Bill 3 and Senate Bill 3 passed the House and Senate, despite opposition from most Democrats and some Republicans. The bills await Governor Roy Cooper’s veto stamp which would prompt the Republican-led General Assembly to return to session to override his vetoes.
Senator Joyce Waddell made comments in opposition of the bills on the Senate Floor. “Voters should have transparent information on the constitutional amendments when voting in the November election. Passing a bill that will keep language ambiguous when amending our state constitution is something that I cannot support. The citizens of North Carolina should know exactly what these constitutional amendments will do if they are implemented,” said Senator Waddell.