Catching My Breath
As most of you know, I work as a lobbyist for the Conservation Council of NC, an environmental non-profit located in Raleigh. The last three weeks of the legislative session, which wrapped up late Thursday night, were as hectic as I can remember. The House and Senate passed far-reaching environmental legislation, a visionary budget, ethics bills, and on and on.
This week, we're all walking around the office like zombies, just trying to catch up.
Several folks have asked if I plan on doing a legislative round-up, a list of bills that passed this year and my thoughts on them.
Yes, I do plan on doing that this week. Look for it later this week. This was an active and productive session, and there is a lot to report.
For now, I will simply say how proud I am of Speaker Joe Hackney of Orange County. Joe was elected Speaker with the cloud of the Jim Black scandal hanging over the House. He brought to the chamber a cleaner, more transparent process. Even with two Democratic members (Thomas Wright and Mary McAllister) facing campaign finance controversies, and two Republican members (David Almond and Joe Boylan) facing sex scandals, Joe kept the chamber focused on the work they were there to do for the people of the state.
I have to say that I was most proud of Joe for holding firm on the Land Transfer Tax during the budget negotiations. The pressure from the Real Estate lobby was intense. Other leaders would have backed down, but Joe and the House Democrats held their ground, and we'll all be better off for it.