Friday 06 Dec 2019

N.C. Legislature Opens Next Two-Year Session (PHOTOS)

RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — The North Carolina General Assembly has opened its two-year session with Republicans still in charge but Democrats making enough gains in November to give them and Gov. Roy Cooper leverage at the policy negotiating table.

Republican lawmakers re-elected to lead the North Carolina House and Senate are urging colleagues to reach consensus in approving policy and legislation during the next two years.

The Senate voted unanimously Wednesday to elect Sen. Phil Berger of Eden as Senate leader for a fifth term, while the House picked Rep. Tim Moore of Kings Mountain as speaker for a third term. House Minority Leader Darren Jackson of Raleigh ran against Moore.

In acceptance speeches, Berger and Moore said they hoped legislators can find common ground on issues such as education, hurricane relief and government efficiency. Democrats won enough seats in November to end the GOP’s veto-proof majorities, giving them more leverage.

The House re-elected Rep. Sarah Stevens of Mount Airy as speaker pro tempore — the chamber’s No. 2 election position, while Sen. Ralph Hise of Spruce Pine was picked the Senate’s deputy leader.

Copyright 2019 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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