General Assembly reconvenes facing an agenda full of controversial items

GREENVILLE, N.C. (WNCT) – State lawmakers head back to work in Raleigh Wednesday as the General Assembly reconvenes at noon.

This is the start of what’s considered the long session, so their plates are full, yet some topics stand out.

North Carolinians are waiting to see what will happen with many issues, including House Bill 2, teacher pay, class size, and spending.

9 On Your Side asked local representatives on both sides of the aisle what their top priorities are.

“Job creation and working with tax policy, business climate, economic development programs across the state,” said republican Rep. Susan Martin of District 8.

“Work with state and local delegations to promote economic development incentives, particularly for eastern North Carolina,” said democratic Sen. Erica Smith-Ingram of District 3.

“See to it that taxpayers get to keep more of their money instead of putting it in the state’s coffers. Less environmental laws and maybe more freedom for entrepreneurs,” said republican Sen. Louis Pate of District 7.

Republicans maintain a majority in the House and Senate, yet both sides say they plan to reach across the aisle and work together to do what’s best for the state.

All eyes are on how the General Assembly will handle controversial House Bill 2.  Some are calling for a full repeal, but that may be difficult with a republican majority.

Polls suggest HB2 was a big contributing factor in Pat McCrory losing the governor’s mansion to Roy Cooper.

GOP legislative leaders have said they’re willing to repeal the law, so 9 On Your Side asked local representatives how they feel.

“It’s not at the top of my list because I think there’s a lot of other things we can be doing for economic development and growth of our state. But if it continues to create issues, we’ll certainly take a look at how that job creation and what needs to be done,” Rep. Martin said.

“I support equality, equal protection and economics and because of that, absent a full repeal of HB2, North Carolina will not be able to regain its image, its outside interests, and the investments in our state,” Rep. Smith-Ingram said.

The General Assembly failed to fully repeal HB2 during a special session last month, yet state leaders say it’s still a possibility. That’s what Governor Roy Cooper is pushing for, along with many other democrats.

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