Leftover issues aplenty expected in North Carolina session

RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — North Carolina's legislative ledger gets cleared every two years when the next set of 170 lawmakers are sworn in. The General Assembly starts from scratch

filing and advancing bills. But the legislative session that begins in earnest Wednesday should be chock full of familiar issues from 2022 — whether to approve Medicaid

expansion, medical marijuana and sports gambling among them — for debate and votes during this year’s chief work period, expected to reach into early summer. Action on

often-redrawn redistricting maps and another way to implement photo voter identification are likely, although appellate judges could step in and restore Republican legislation

that they recently struck down. And with the GOP now holding a veto-proof majority in the 50-seat Senate and just one seat short in the 120-member House following November

elections, Republicans could again pass looser gun laws and tougher immigration directives with hopes to finally override Democratic Gov. Roy Cooper’s vetoes. These items

are in addition to passing a state government budget, which is usually the heaviest lift for legislators annually. “This is going to be fast paced. There’s a lot of issues

that we will be debating that’s carried over,” said GOP Rep. Donny Lambeth, one of the House’s chief budget-writers. “I’m sure there’s going to be a few new items thrown in, but a

lot of us that've been there have been debating these issues for years.”