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I doubt any of you have noticed or paid particular attention to this detail, but whenever I write about the North Carolina General Assembly’s short session, I use quotation marks when using “non-controversial” as the powers-that-be like to describe it.
Non-controversial? What does that even mean?
Since when has any decision made by politicians been non-controversial? Trust me, even the most seemingly mundane procedural vote is controversial to someone, usually to someone of conflicting political ideology. Controversy always seems to lie with the beholder. And that beholder often calls me to complain about it.
I often wondered what brain-trust in Raleigh determined at which legislative session real work can be done and at which they just rubber-stamp everything they see.
My guess is it’s been like that for a very long time.
Lawmakers are set to get back to work for the upcoming “non-controversial” short session Wednesday, May 16.
Lawmakers have promised to adhere to the “short” modifier for the upcoming session. Something tells me they won’t be as successful in adhering to the “non-controversial” part of it, but we’ll see.
I was at a recent legislative luncheon hosted by the Association of Realtors where state Rep. Frank Iler, R-Brunswick, and State Sen. Bill Rabon, R-Brunswick, spoke about their goals for the upcoming short session.
Take my word for it—there was nothing non-controversial on that list. Rabon promised to overhaul the state’s education department and I’m pretty sure indicated they planned to do away with or at least seriously scale back the Coastal Resources Commission.
As far as getting business done and getting it done quickly, Rabon said, “I like to spend the Fourth of July in Southport, and that’s what I intend to do.”
I’ve heard other legislators make similar statements. We’ll see if they really mean it.
In the coming weeks, I’ll have several stories about what they’ll be working on in Raleigh, including an in-depth look at “The Excellent Public Schools Act,” (the aforementioned education overhaul, co-sponsored by Rabon) and how it will affect Brunswick County Schools and, more importantly, its students.
I hope to make a trip or two to Raleigh. Hopefully I won’t make the trip for anything too “non-controversial.” With gas prices as high as they are, I’d like to, at the very least, see a veto-override of the Voter ID law.
Since I’m writing this on Election Day, voter ID is on the top of my list. I always try to show my ID at the polls, just to prove I am who I say I am, but no one will ever even look at it.
If it were up to me, no representative or senator would be allowed to spend their Fourth of July at home until and unless they over-rode the voter ID veto.
It’s rather fitting, after all, in the spirit of Independence Day, that each and every one of our votes carries equal weight, regardless for whom you voted.
That’s not controversial. That’s common sense.
Too bad there’s no “common sense” session in the General Assembly.
Caroline Curran is a staff writer and columnist at The Brunswick Beacon. Reach her at 754-6890 or email@example.com.