Monday, June 13, 2011

Crossover Week at the NC General Assembly

The crossover deadline for the NC Senate and House of Representatives was June 9, 2011. This means that in order for any bills to be voted on or discussed in the rest of the session they had to have passed through one Chamber by midnight of June 9. Obviously, with last week being crossover week, it was very hectic at the legislature. We were in and out of committee meetings all week where bills addressing insurance, health care. education and mental health were debated.

For me, the most interesting and impressive meeting was the meeting of the Senate Committee on Mental Health and Youth Services on Thursday. The meeting was more of a public forum than legislator dominated discussion. Constituents from around the state were invited to speak on behalf of the proposed rules and policies and express their personal experiences.

Many of the citizens had family members with mental disabilities and many others were currently or had in the past cared for a family member with a mental disability. They spoke of the importance of funding in order to keep their kids and family members healthy and properly cared for.

In respect to the Senators, they seemed to sincerely care about what the citizens had to say. It was certainly a nice change of pace to see a meeting mostly run by the citizens rather than the politicians, especially when it was a subject that many hold so closely to their heart.

We’ve been extremely busy but so involved that it’s been worth it. This week continues to be equally hectic as we await to see if Gov. Perdue's veto will be overridden or sustained in what legislative leader predict to be the last week of the legislative session.

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