NC House Passes Free the Smiles Act in Veto-Proof, Bipartisan Vote, Returning Student Masking Decisions to Parents

Today, the North Carolina House has passed the Free the Smiles Act in a veto-proof, bipartisan vote of 76-42. The bill will give parents the right to opt out of student mask mandates for their children.
 
North Carolina House Speaker Tim Moore said, “All health care decisions for our students belong with their parents, not with politicians or bureaucrats. No one cares about these children more than their parents, and no one is better-suited to make these decisions.”
 
He continued, “This action is long overdue. While politicians have failed to roll back these onerous restrictions that have resulted in learning loss, young children have paid the heaviest price for ongoing mandates and restrictions that are simply not based on science or current data.”

North Carolina House Passes State House Map in Bipartisan Vote

Today, in a vote of 115-5, following a mutual agreement between both Democrats and Republicans, the North Carolina House passed a new state map in a bipartisan vote.
 
North Carolina House Speaker Tim Moore said, “I am proud of the bipartisan vote today and that we have passed a State House map for North Carolina.”
 
He continued, “Furthermore, I am confident that the House has passed a map that complies with the court’s guidelines and will be upheld in court.”

House Republicans and Democrats Reach Agreement on State House Map

Joint statement from
House Speaker Tim Moore and House Minority Leader Robert Reives:
 
Today, House Leadership from both parties reached an agreement on a State House map. We are confident that this will result in a map that has bipartisan support. This agreement is the result of several days of good faith discussions between House leaders in both parties.

DHHS Refuses to Eliminate Student Mask Mandates, New Legislation Considered in NC House

Raleigh, NC— Yesterday, North Carolina House Speaker Tim Moore sent a letter to Governor Roy Cooper asking him to end the policies that effectively mandate masks in schools, as most governors across the country finally do the same.
 
Although Governor Cooper said yesterday that the DHHS would be updating COVID guidelines for students, the only update to the toolkit was to contact tracing. Unfortunately, North Carolina students will continue to be masked in the classroom.
 
North Carolina House Speaker Tim Moore said, “This failure by Governor Cooper and DHHS to roll back obsolete mask mandates will mean that many schools will leave those mandates in place. Yesterday’s updates were simply not strong enough. We must do more to protect our children from further learning setbacks and the other consequences of keeping these mandates in place.”
 
He continued, “As soon as redistricting is completed, we will be advancing legislation in the House to give parents the ability to opt-out of mask requirements. Virginia is already advancing a bipartisan bill just like this. It is parents, not politicians, who should decide whether or not to mask their children.”

North Carolina House Speaker Tim Moore Urges Governor: End Student Masking Policies

Today, North Carolina House Speaker Tim Moore sent a letter to Governor Roy Cooper asking to end the policies that have disrupted classrooms and hindered student achievement and repeal the guidelines that force healthy kids to stay home and effectively mandate masks in schools, as most governors across the country finally do the same.
 
NC House Speaker Tim Moore said, “Throughout the pandemic, it has been our young children who have paid the heaviest price for the Governor’s endless state of emergency and ongoing mandates and restrictions.”
 
He continued, “It is time to end the policies that have disrupted classrooms and hindered student achievement. The science does not support these onerous restrictions that continue to harm our children. I urge Governor Cooper to repeal the guidelines that force healthy kids to stay home and effectively mandate masks in schools.”

North Carolina Supreme Court Directs General Assembly to Redraw Districts

In a 4-3 party-line vote, the North Carolina Supreme Court has ordered that North Carolina Congressional and legislative districts be redrawn.
 
NC House Speaker Tim Moore said, “While we are still analyzing this order, I strongly disagree with the majority opinion. The majority opinion is not based in law, precedent, or the history of this state, but rather the political whims of 4 out of 7 justices.”
 
He continued, “As the Chief Justice eloquently wrote, this decision ‘…. violates separation of powers by effectively placing responsibility for redistricting with the judicial branch, not the legislative branch as expressly provided in our constitution.’”

Governor Cooper Vetoes Bill To Push Primaries in Light of Ongoing Redistricting Cases

Today, Governor Cooper vetoed House Bill 605, an act to “Set the date for the 2022 date for the 2022 primary as June 7, 2022; to allow the State Board of Elections to issue temporary rules for conducting the 2022 primaries and elections…”
 
According to the State Board of Elections, districts must be finalized by the week of February 14, just 12 days after the Supreme Court hears oral arguments in redistricting cases. This would give the courts a few days to make their decision before that deadline and would give the General Assembly little time to draw new maps if required.
 
North Carolina Speaker of the House Tim Moore said, “House Bill 605 is a reasonable measure taken by the legislature to ensure a thorough and constitutional process. Unfortunately Governor Cooper’s veto undermines that process in the name of politics.”
 
He continued, “Furthermore, during his time as Senate Redistricting Chair, Cooper presided over some of the most tortured and gerrymandered maps in state history. Now, he wants to sow chaos and confusion in the hopes that the Supreme Court will usurp the constitutional duty of the General Assembly to the benefit of his Democrat allies.”

North Carolina House Passes Bill to Shift Primary to June

Today the North Carolina House passed House Bill 605, an act to “Set the date for the 2022 date for the 2022 primary as June 7, 2022; to allow the State Board of Elections to issue temporary rules for conducting the 2022 primaries and elections…”
 
According to the State Board of Elections, districts must be finalized by the week of February 14, just 12 days after the Supreme Court hears oral arguments in redistricting cases. This would give the courts a few days to make their decision before that deadline and would give the General Assembly little time to draw new maps if required.
 
House Speaker Tim Moore said, “While redistricting cases play out in court, it is imperative that North Carolina voters maintain confidence in our elections process. House Bill 605 would eliminate the potential chaos of rushing a court decision and the process of redrawing maps if required by the court.”
 
He continued, “Furthermore, state law requires that the General Assembly have at least 14 days to draw new districts. House Bill 605 is a common sense bill that allows the General Assembly adequate time to fulfill our constitutional responsibility.”

House Speaker Tim Moore Announces Interim Committee Assignments

Today North Carolina House Speaker Tim Moore announced interim committee appointments .
 
Interim committee appointments include:
 
Joint Legislative Administrative Procedure Oversight Committee
 
  • Rep. Sarah Stevens, Co-Chair
  • Rep. Allison Dahle
  • Rep. Jon Hardister
  • Rep. Larry Strickland
  • Rep. Brian Turner
  • Rep. Robert Reives
  • Rep. Dennis Riddell, Vice-Chair
  • Rep. Timothy Moffitt 
Joint Legislative Oversight Committee on Agriculture and Natural and Economic Resources
 
  • Rep. Jimmy Dixon, Co-Chair
  • Rep. Pat McElraft, Co-Chair
  • Rep. Kyle Hall
  • Rep. Chris Humphrey
  • Rep. Jeffrey C. McNeely
  • Rep. Karl E. Gillespie 
Advisory Members:
  • Rep. Pricey Harrison
  • Rep. Dennis Riddell
  • Rep. Phil Shepard
  • Rep. Jake Johnson
Joint Legislative Oversight Committee on Capital Improvements
 
  • Rep. Dean Arp, Co-Chair
  • Rep. Kelly Hastings, Co-Chair
  • Rep. Jon Hardister, Vice Chair
  • Rep. Robert Reives
  • Rep. Matthew Winslow
  • Rep. David Rogers
  • Rep. Billy Richardson
  • Rep. Abe Jones
Joint Legislative Economic Development and Global Engagement Oversight Committee
 
  • Rep. Jason Saine, C0-chair
  • Rep. Ted Davis
  • Rep. Bobby Hanig
  • Rep. Howard Hunter
  • Rep. Garland Pierce
  • Rep. Shelly Willingham
  • Rep. Jake Johnson
  • Rep. Erin Pare
  • Rep. John Sauls
  • Rep. Mike Clampitt
  • Rep. Steve Tyson
Joint Legislative Education Oversight Committee
 
  • Rep. Hugh Blackwell, Co-Chair
  • Rep. Jeffrey Elmore, Vice Chair
  • Rep. Pat Hurley, Vice Chair
  • Rep. John Torbett, Vice Chair 
  • Rep. Jon Hardister, Vice Chair 
  • Rep. Cecil Brockman
  • Rep. Ashton Wheeler Clemmons
  • Rep. Howard Hunter
  • Rep. Marvin Lucas
  • Rep. David Willis 
  • Rep. Diane Wheatley 
Joint Legislative Elections Oversight Committee
 
  • Rep. Destin Hall, Co-Chair
  • Rep. Grey Mills, Co-Chair
  • Rep. Dennis Riddell, Vice Chair
  • Rep. Jon Hardister
  • Rep. John Szoka
  • Rep. Allison Dahle 
  • Rep. Shelly Willingham 
  • Rep. Pricey Harrison 
  • Rep. Jeff Zenger 
Joint Legislative Emergency Management Oversight Committee
 
  • Rep. John Faircloth, Co-Chair
  • Rep. John Bell, Co-Chair
  • Rep. James Boles, Vice-Chair
  • Rep. Brenden Jones
  • Rep. Grier Martin
  • Rep. Garland Pierce
Joint Legislative Commission on Energy Policy
 
  • Rep. John Szoka, Co-Chair
  • Rep. Dean Arp, Co-Chair
  • Rep. Pricey Harrison
  • Rep. Brenden Jones
  • Rep. Charles Miller
Environmental Review Commission
 
  • Rep. Jimmy Dixon, Co-Chair
  • Rep. Edward Goodwin, Co-Chair
  • Rep. Pat McElraft, Co-Chair
  • Rep. Larry Yarborough, Co-Chair
  • Rep. Kyle Hall
  • Rep. William Brisson
  • Rep. Ted Davis
  • Rep. Pricey Harrison
Legislative Ethics Committee
 
  • Rep. Grey Mills, Co-Chair
  • Rep. Pricey Harrison
  • Rep. Joe John
  • Rep. Garland E. Pierce
  • Rep. Jason Saine
  • Rep. Mitchell S. Setzer
Joint Legislative Oversight Committee on General Government
 
  • Rep. Dennis Riddell, Co-Chair
  • Rep. George Cleveland, Co-Chair
  • Rep. Mark Brody, Vice-Chair
  • Rep. Howard Penny
  • Rep. Erin Pare
  • Rep. Carolyn Logan
Joint Legislative Commission on Governmental Operations
 
  • Rep. Jamie Boles, Co-Chair
  • Rep. Dean Arp
  • Rep. John Torbett
  • Rep. Hugh Blackwell
  • Rep. Erin Pare
  • Rep. Harry Warren
  • Rep. Matthew Winslow
  • Rep. Mark Brody
  • Rep. Michael Wray
  • Rep. William Richardson
  • Rep. Amos Quick
Joint Legislative Oversight Committee on Health and Human Services
 
  • Rep. Donny Lambeth, Co-Chair
  • Rep. Larry Potts, Co-Chair
  • Rep. William Brisson
  • Rep. Becky Carney
  • Rep. Carla Cunningham
  • Rep. Wayne Sasser
  • Rep. Donna M. White
  • Rep. Gale Adcock
  • Rep. Hugh Blackwell
  • Rep. Mark Pless 
  • Rep. Kristin Baker, MD
Joint Legislative Oversight Committee on Information Technology
 
  • Rep. Jason Saine, Co-Chair
  • Rep. Jake Johnson, Vice-Chair
  • Rep. Dean Arp
  • Rep. Kyle Hall
  • Rep. Brenden Jones
  • Rep. David Willis 
  • Rep. Reece Pyrtle 
  • Rep. Brian Farkas
Joint Legislative Oversight Committee on Justice and Public Safety
 
  • Rep. Jamie Boles, Co-Chair
  • Rep. Ted Davis, Co-Chair
  • Rep. John Faircloth
  • Rep. Charles Graham
  • Rep. Allen McNeill
  • Rep. William Richardson
  • Rep. David Rogers
  • Rep. Carson Smith
  • Rep. Sarah Stevens
  • Rep. Dudley Greene
  • Rep. Garland Pierce
Legislative Research Commission
 
  • Rep. Destin Hall, Co-Chair
  • Rep. Becky Carney
  • Rep.Ted Davis, Jr.
  • Rep. Grey Mills
  • Rep. Jason Saine
Legislative Services Commission
 
  • Rep. Tim Moore, Co-Chair
  • Rep. John Bell
  • Rep. Destin Hall
  • Rep. Robert T. Reives, II
  • Rep. Jason Saine
Joint Legislative Oversight Committee on Local Government
 
  • Rep. Harry Warren, Co-Chair
  • Rep. Jay Adams
  • Rep. Shelly Willingham
  • Rep. Mitchell Setzer
  • Rep. Amos Quick
  • Rep. Mark Brody
  • Rep. Sam Watford 
Joint Legislative Oversight Committee on the North Carolina State Lottery
 
  • Rep. Jason Saine, Co-Chair
  • Rep. John Bell
  • Rep. Rosa Gill
  • Rep. Jon Hardister
  • Rep. Pat Hurley
  • Rep. Harry Warren
  • Rep. Lee Zachary
Joint Legislative Oversight Committee on Medicaid and Health Choice
 
  • Rep. Donny Lambeth, Co-Chair
  • Rep. Hugh Blackwell
  • Rep. William Brisson
  • Rep. Michael Wray
  • Rep. Carla Cunningham
  • Rep. Larry Potts
  • Rep. Wayne Sasser
Joint Legislative Committee on Access to Healthcare and Medicaid Expansion
 
  • Rep. Donny Lambeth, Co-Chair
  • Rep. Larry Potts, Vice-Chair
  • Rep. Kristin Baker
  • Rep. Wayne Sasser
  • Rep. Donna White
  • Rep. Keith Kidwell
  • Rep. William Richardson
  • Rep. Brian Farkas
  • Rep. Charles Graham
Municipal Incorporations Subcommittee of the Joint Legislative Committee on Local Government
 
  • Rep. Harry Warren, Co-Chair
  • Rep. Jay Adams
  • Rep. Shelly Willingham
  • Rep. Mitchell Setzer
  • Rep. Amos Quick
  • Rep. Mark Brody
  • Rep. Sam Watford 
Revenue Laws Study Committee
 
  • Rep. Julia Howard, Co-Chair
  • Rep. Keith Kidwell, Vice-Chair
  • Rep. Chris Humphrey
  • Rep. Kelly Alexander
  • Rep. Becky Carney
  • Rep. Mitchell Setzer
  • Rep. Robert Reives
  • Rep. John Szoka
  • Rep. Harry Warren
  • Rep. Jon Hardister
Joint Legislative Transportation Oversight Committee
 
  • Rep. Frank Iler, Co-Chair
  • Rep. Brenden Jones, Co-Chair 
  • Rep. Phil Shepard, Co-Chair
  • Rep. Dean Arp
  • Rep. Becky Carney
  • Rep Edward Goodwin
  • Rep. Charles Graham
  • Rep. Jake Johnson
  • Rep. Garland Pierce
  • Rep. Donnie Loftis 
  • Rep. Ben Moss 
Joint Legislative Oversight Committee on Unemployment Insurance
 
  • Rep. Julia Howard, Co-Chair
  • Rep. Harry Warren, Vice-Chair
  • Rep. Mark Brody
  • Rep. John Bradford 

NC Lawmakers File Motion to Recuse Justice Anita Earls in Redistricting Case

On Wednesday, attorneys for the North Carolina General Assembly filed a motion asking State Supreme Court Anita Earls to recuse herself from presiding over the redistricting cases.
 
In order to support recusal, a litigant must show “that there exists such a personal bias, prejudice or interest on the part of the judge that he would be unable to rule impartially.”
 
In the motion filed in court yesterday, attorneys for the General Assembly noted the following as justification for the recusal of Justice Earls.
 
NC State Supreme Court Justice Anita Earls
 
  • “(In) 2018, when Justice Earls was campaigning for a seat on this Court, her campaign committee—Earls For Justice Committee—accepted the maximum amount of individual funds from the National Democratic Redistricting PAC: then $5,200.00.”
 
  • “The National Democratic Redistricting Committee (“NDRC”) also endorsed Justice Earls for election.”
 
  • “Upon information and belief, on the same day the National Democratic Redistricting PAC gave Justice Earls $5,200.00 (20 September 2018) it gave $250,000.00 to the North Carolina Democratic Party’s ‘judicial coordination fund.'”
 
  • The $250,000 was funneled directly to elect Anita Earls by Eric Holder, who is now directly funding this ongoing litigation over which Justice Earls could preside.
 
  • “Defendants do not highlight these contributions to argue that they are necessarily unlawful. Rather, these contributions highlight influence—the very concern that as an advocate before joining the bench, Justice Earls argued to the federal court.”
 
  • At the time, Justice Earls argued:
 
“… If supposedly independent political committees are allowed to receive unlimited contributions, donors will use those contributions to buy access to and influence with those candidates aided by the committee. Such unlimited contributions, even if given to supposedly independent committees, create the potential for the same kind of corruption that was at the heart of the Supreme Court’s analysis in McConnell upholding restrictions on donations to party committees.”