Capitol Commentary 419B Legislative Office Building Raleigh, NC 27603-5925 (919) 715-3009 email@example.com July 13, 2011 Legislative Update Raleigh, NC After a brief lull in legislative activity, politics ramps back up again this week with the start of a mid-summer special session. Before I head back to Raleigh today, I wanted to let you know what to expect out of the state Capitol in the coming weeks. Redistricting The primary focus of the special session will be redistricting -- the once-a-decade process of redrawing state legislative and U.S. Congressional districts using the new U.S. census data. Though the session officially kicks off today (for technical reasons), we dont actually have business on the legislative calendar until next week. The legislatures redistricting committee leaders unveiled new Congressional district maps earlier this month, and weve begun a series of three dozen public hearings on those maps as well as the House and Senate maps. Those of you who have lived in North Carolina for many years will recall the highly contentious and litigious redistricting processes weve endured in the past, resulting in the oddly shaped districts we have today. More court challenges are inevitable this year, though we have done our best to draw fair and legal districts that comply with all the previous court decisions. It has not been an easy task! The state House and Senate maps were released earlier this week. My district District 104 would migrate south, dropping some neighborhoods north of NC 51 and picking up some in the Arboretum area. The new districts would go into effect beginning with the 2012 elections. Veto Overrides Its also possible that we will attempt some veto override votes during this session. The governor rejected a record 15 bills passed by the legislature, including the budget, voter ID legislation and the Womens Right to Know Act. We already overrode her veto of the budget. Its too soon to say which others, if any, will be the subject of more override votes. Water Symposium I am very much looking forward to attending the "Success Without Excess" water symposium on the NC State campus tomorrow. While I will be making a speech about current state water policy, I am particularly interested in hearing what the other speakers have to say about how we can creatively solve our water use challenges in the future.
Currently, the legislative calendar has us concluding the redistricting session by the end of this month and not reconvening until fall, for another special session focused on which state constitutional amendments you will see on your ballot in 2012. During this time, the best way to contact me with your comments or questions is still at my legislative office at (919) 715-3009 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com. Best wishes, Ruth Samuelson, Majority Whip NC House of Representatives, District 104 Mecklenburg County http://www.ruthsamuelson.com