An Annual Press Conference With A 2017 Twist

Jan 25, 2017

Senate Minority Leader Dan Blue
Credit NCGA

With Republican super-majorities in both chambers the Democrats in the General Assembly can seem an afterthought. But their cooperation can still be key.

In the annual press conference laying out their legislative priorities the minority leaders touched on some expected themes. They called for tax cuts for the middle class, the expansion of Medicaid to help rural hospitals and the full, unconditional repeal of House Bill 2, which would require their votes in order to pass.

Then came a twist.

Late last year, the Republican majority passed a new law requiring members of Governor Roy Cooper’s cabinet be approved by the Senate. Cooper is challenging that now in court.

But Senate Minority Leader Dan Blue said he has been told of some of the details on how those hearings could play out. "I think it will be a workable thing," he told reporters before adding, "Course you still gotta realize that there’s litigation pending now saying that the whole process is unconstitutional. But it’s good to have a standby in case it’s not."

Blue expects details of the confirmation hearings to be released by the end of the week.