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Speaker Moore On Legislative Redistricting, Class Size Law

North Carolina General Assembly

Are you worried any kind of redistricting could threaten the Republicans supermajority in North Carolina's House of Representatives?

"My belief is if the redistricting is done and in a fair manner, which we've done, we will hold our majority. I feel confident we'll hold our supermajority. But it's a numbers game, as you know. 

We have 75 members and if we have a net loss of four seats, then that takes away the supermajority. And if you look historically at our state, it is actually rare in some cases for one party to maintain a supermajority for a long period of time. Maps are maps, you can't make that happen with maps. That's determined on Election Day. And I think the reason that we’re holding our supermajority and we've done so well is because the voters agree with what we've done…."

Why does the state need to embark on judicial redistricting now? Why not ask the state commission charged with doing this to do it?

"This process has actually been very deliberate. It started last long session. It’s passed the judiciary committee. It's passed the rules committee. It’s passed the redistricting committee. It's now in that joint committee with the senate. The last time this was done, that the districts were redrawn or looked at really with a serious eye was back in the 60s. And so it’s been 50 years. This state has changed dramatically. Now, there have been piecemeal changes along the way, but it's not kept up with population growth it's not kept up with caseloads….I promise you, they didn't just look at the map and try to draw a Rorschach test or just start throwing darts. They said, ‘Okay, these are the districts that we presently have. Do they most efficiently administer justice and make best use of our state's resources in doing so?’ And there are some that clearly don't. Really what you're getting to is a couple of things that those who don't like it are simply those who don't like the results of the change they want to keep it the way it is…."

School districts say they may have to end programs like music, art, and P.E. to pay for a law going into effect next school year that reduces class size. The House and the Senate have disagreed about ways to “fix” this. What would a possible compromise look like?

"This has been something that's been talked about for many, many years and schools knew to prepare for this. Now, we've already passed a class size fix bill and House Bill 13 which would delay the implementation of the class size reductions to give the school districts additional time….What we're trying to do is we've provided time, flexibility, and resources for these local school districts through this process. We're continuing to listen to them, to work closely with them. I'm going to be meeting with my local school folks next week on some of this. I do think that a lot of the concerns that I've heard from many districts tend to be in some of the urban districts or the districts that are more rapidly growing. Well, guess what? Those school issues about classes and having facilities…that’s going on anyway just because they're growing so much. And that's where the counties ultimately in those districts have to step up and provide the capital facilities for that...."

Tom Bullock decided to trade the khaki clad masses and traffic of Washington DC for Charlotte in 2014. Before joining WFAE, Tom spent 15 years working for NPR. Over that time he served as everything from an intern to senior producer of NPR’s Election Unit. Tom also spent five years as the senior producer of NPR’s Foreign Desk where he produced and reported from Iraq, Afghanistan, Yemen, Haiti, Egypt, Libya, Lebanon among others. Tom is looking forward to finally convincing his young daughter, Charlotte, that her new hometown was not, in fact, named after her.