With thanks to Dianna Wynn of the League of Women Voters who attended two long days of committee meetings, here is the current status of the bill.
October 5th House Session
- The House convened at 11:00am and immediately went into recess until 7:15pm that evening.
- Representative Burr presented H717 as it was amended in the rules committee.
- Numerous amendments were offered addressing requests for changes within a legislator’s specific districts. All the amendments were offered by Democrats. (Reives, Willingham, Fisher, Floyd, C. Graham, Pierce, Morey, and W. Richardson). Burr supported many of the amendments, and it was clear that he had spoken with those Democratic legislators prior to the session. However, the amendments offered by Fisher, C. Graham, Morey, and W. Richardson were opposed by Burr and failed to pass.
- Debate on the amended bill proceeded. I believe only three Republicans spoke during the debate, including Burr and Dollar. All three spoke in favor of the bill. A number of Democrats spoke out against the bill including Garrison, Lucas, John, Jackson, Morey, Michaux, Martin, and W. Richardson. Democrats whose amendments were passed did not speak against the bill.
- Representatives John, Morey, Martin, and Michaux’s impassioned pleas to vote against the bill were particularly notable.
- H717 passed the House by a vote of 69 in favor and 43 opposed. The votes were along party lines.
- Vote breakdown by party – With the exception of one Democrat (Brisson), all Democrats voted against the bill. All Republicans voted in favor of the bill. There was a representative of each party that did not vote—Hanes and Boles. There were six representatives listed as an excused absence.
- H717 will now be sent to the Senate.
- The Senate is scheduled to convene on Monday, October 9th. However, the Senate has decided to take up no new business, so the Senate will not hear H717 until they meet in January.
- We will need to contact our NC Senators to ask them to vote against this bill.