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What bills are still in play in Western North Carolina after crossover

A photo of the North Carolina General Assembly building in Raleigh in the spring with an American flag and the state flag flying.

State lawmakers introduced a wide range of bills this session, ranging from banning drag performance to partisan politics. Despite the attention some bills grabbed, only about a quarter of the 1600 measures lawmakers introduced made it through the process called crossover.

Crossover, a self-imposed deadline for each house to While state lawmakers introduced about 1600 measures this session, only about a quarter passed one chamber to move to consideration in the other by the May 3rd crossover deadline.

Passing one chamber is the first of several hurdles a bill must pass to become law, according to Western Carolina University political science professor Chris Cooper. Many of the bills that made it through were compromises on issues, he said.

“For example, of course there is a 12-week abortion ban bill that made it through crossover, but the one that would've completely eliminated abortion didn't,” Cooper said. “So sometimes these are on the same topics and the same issues, they just weren't as politically palatable is the bills that made it.”

Cooper keeps a particular eye on local bills that make it through crossover because those bills aren’t eligible for a veto from Governor Cooper.

This session, a few local bills sponsored by Western North Carolina lawmakers made it through crossover. Rep. Mark Pless (NC-118) filed a bill would change elections from nonpartisan to partisan affairs in Haywood County and in Madison County.

Western North Carolina lawmakers sponsored several other measures that moved to the other house. Rep. Mike Clampitt (NC-119) co-sponsored a bill in the House to ban “adult entertainment” including drag on public property. Sen. Kevin Corbin (NC-50) was a primary sponsor on a Senate bill to mandate athletic sports teams designated for females not be open to students of the male sex.

“There's also some fun ones. There was a bill that made it out of the House that would proclaim March 3rd as Doc Watson Day," Cooper said. “We'll see what the Senate does with that.”

There are other exceptions to the crossover rule, Cooper said. Redistricting bills, election bills, constitutional amendments, appointments, and bills related to finance are all not subject to crossover. The General Assembly is expected to revisit redistricting this year, following the NC Supreme Court decision that reversed its prior ruling upholding the maps drawn in 2021.

A timeline for that process this year isn’t clear. he said.

Lilly Knoepp is Senior Regional Reporter for Blue Ridge Public Radio. She has served as BPR’s first fulltime reporter covering Western North Carolina since 2018. She is from Franklin, NC. She returns to WNC after serving as the assistant editor of Women@Forbes and digital producer of the Forbes podcast network. She holds a master’s degree in international journalism from the City University of New York and earned a double major from UNC-Chapel Hill in religious studies and political science.