On Tuesday Republican lawmakers filed an appointments bill replacing most of the Board of Transportation and appointing seven new superior court judges. SB 761 capitalizes on new appointment powers the NCGA took away from the governor and allocated to themselves. Governor Cooper criticized the appointments on Tuesday.
On Wednesday the NCGA approved new maps for congressional, state House, and state Senate districts. The new congressional map creates 10 solid Republican districts, 3 solid Democratic districts, and 1 district that leans Republican. Four current Democratic U.S. House representatives are now in Republican or Republican-leaning districts. State House and Senate maps also solidify Republican majorities in the NCGA, even in elections in which Democrats win the majority of votes statewide.
“Power at Any Price: North Carolina’s latest gerrymander” from Carolina Forward
“Understanding North Carolina's state legislature” from Carolina Forward
“Newly Proposed NC Maps are more gerrymandered and less responsive than maps struck down in 2021” from Quantifying Gerrymandering at Duke
The NC Supreme Court has granted a discretionary review of the Leandro school funding case at the request of Republican legislative leaders. The Leandro decision, which found that North Carolina must adequately fund education across the state, is nearly 30 years old, but it has continued to appear in courts as it is determined what specific funding is required from the state. This represents another issue on which the current NC Supreme Court is willing to reconsider decisions made less than a year ago by the previous NC Supreme Court.
On Tuesday Governor Cooper announced a plan to allocate $1.4 million in federal funding for school breakfasts. The funding will be administered through a grant program that school districts and charter schools can apply for, with awards of up to $50,000 for new or expanded innovative breakfast programs.
On Tuesday Governor Cooper issued an executive order mandating a study of environmental impacts and pollution in poorer areas of North Carolina. The order also calls for the creation of an online environmental justice hub that includes maps showing various environmental justice metrics across the state, creates an environmental justice council that reports to the governor, and requires each state cabinet agency to develop at least three environmental justice goals and measurable outcomes.