A state lawmaker who lives in Mount Airy has been named to head a key group in the N.C. House of Representatives.
Sarah Stevens, a Republican representing District 90 (including Surry County and parts of Wilkes), will chair House Judiciary Committee “C.” One of three subcommittees of the judiciary group which address different facets of the legal system, its focus includes criminal and family law.
“It is a key committee to handle those kinds of issues,” Stevens said Monday. The Mount Airy resident has a feel for these matters due to serving as an attorney for 26 years. She was elected to her third term in the state General Assembly in November.
Stevens also has experience with the Judiciary Committee due to previously serving as a subcommittee co-chair.
The new leadership position, announced at the end of last week, means the local legislator will play a major role in which bills become law. “I’ll schedule what is heard by that committee and decide which ones go to the floor,” Stevens explained.
Rep. Thom Tillis, the speaker of the House who tapped Stevens to head the subcommittee, also appoints its members, who number about 12 representatives typically including an equal number of Democrats and Republicans.
“We have some retired law enforcement officers who are actually on my committee,” Stevens said of the makeup of the panel that also includes others with experience in the criminal justice field.
As part of its work, Judiciary Committee “C” will hear from expert laypersons on the various legislative issues it addresses in order to ensure a complete understanding of them and proper treatment of each that arises, Stevens said.
The other two subcommittees under the Judiciary Committee deal with such areas as constitutional law, contracts and real estate.
Major Issues Loom
Areas that the panel headed by Stevens is expected to address will include drugs, both the illegal and legal variety.
Better ways to tackle the ongoing methamphetamine problem will be one, with the abuse of prescription medications looming as another, she said.
“We’ll make sure we give them a good look,” Stevens said of those and additional concerns that will reach her subcommittee when the next legislative session begins in January.
“I’m excited and just ready to go,” she added of her leadership role.
Reach Tom Joyce at 719-1924 or firstname.lastname@example.org.