An Emotional Day on the House Floor as the General Assembly Begins the Short Session

    by CLC Staff

    Today begins the ‘Short Session’ of the North Carolina General Assembly’s 156th Biennium. The General Assembly meets for a two-year term in regular session beginning in January of each odd-numbered year (called the “Long Session”), and adjourns to reconvene the following even-numbered year for a shorter session (called the “Short Session”). For the most part, legislative business in the Short Session is limited to tweaks of the state budget, which is passed into law the prior year.

    The House welcomed its newest member, Representative Jerry “Alan” Branson this afternoon. Rep. Branson, a former Guilford County Commissioner, replaces Representative Jon Hardister, who resigned earlier in the month after serving six terms in the state House.

    The House also unanimously passed Joint Resolution 910, confirming the appointment of Charlotte attorney A. Todd Brown as a Special Superior Court Judge, for an eight-year term commencing on Tuesday, April 9 (the date of his appointment by Governor Cooper). Mr. Brown has been a member of the North Carolina State Bar Association since 2013 and he was sworn in as its president by Chief Justice Paul Newby on October 26, 2023. Brown was endorsed by the North Carolina Chamber of Commerce, the North Carolina Home Builders Association, and the North Carolina Retail Merchants Association.

    The Honorables also recognized Wounded Heroes Day and National Crime Victims’ Rights Awareness Week.

    After dispensing with its legislative agenda, there were “points of personal privilege,” shared by a number of House members that had to do with family illness and loss. Representative Becky Carney, who lost her husband of 34 years in March, thanked her colleagues for their outpouring of love and support. She concluded her remarks by saying:

    “So I say to all of you, as we convene in this Chamber — as I have for 22 years — learn one thing: that we may fight, we may disagree, we may call each other names at different points throughout our time here. But at the end of the day, I can attest to you — as you’ve heard today from several of my colleagues that have said ‘thank yous’ to you — they’re meant from the bottom of our hearts, being on the receiving end. It truly is a family here, and I’m so proud to know all of you and to have shared this journey with you all.”

    We’re told there wasn’t a dry eye in the house.