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The Readers’ Forum: Sneaky tactics undermine democracy in RaleighTHE READERS’ FORUM

Letter: Sneaky tactics undermine democracy in Raleigh

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Session Opens (copy)

Speaker of the House Tim Moore talks with Rep. George Cleveland before the opening session of the N.C. House of Representatives on Jan. 11.

Sneaky tactics

The editorial on Jan 18 addresses the rule changes recently introduced in the N.C. House. The new rule allows the speaker to introduce veto override votes at the drop of a hat.

Previously, there was a 24-hour minimum requirement. In essence, anytime the speaker finds the personnel in the chamber favorable to a veto override, he can pounce. If members are ill, or attending to a family emergency, or even just leaving the chamber to visit the restroom, they risk missing a crucial vote.

As voters, our expectation is that laws are decided by the representatives we elect, not by a selection of members chosen by the speaker. There are a number of important issues before the N.C. General Assembly in the coming year; abortion access, Medicaid expansion and education funding, just to name a few.

Many of these will be decided by razor-thin margins.

We should all be prepared to accept the decisions resulting from procedures outlined in our constitution and carried out by duly elected representatives. But decisions derived by a body assembled from gerrymandered districts, utilizing sneaky tactics that fail to respect basic principles of democracy? That’s not what any of us signed up for.

Eileen McCully

Winston Salem

 

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