The North Carolina General Assembly convenes today in Raleigh, although the first meeting is essentially an organizational one, with work on the state budget and other legislation not coming until Jan. 30.
When the session opens, state residents will see a historic event — the GOP controlling both houses of the Assembly while also holding the governor’s mansion. The Assembly returned to GOP control in 2010 for the first time since 1896, and McCrory is only the third Republican governor to hold office in North Carolina since 1901, so it’s been well more than a century since the GOP held both the Assembly and the governor’s mansion.
The danger in having both branches of the state government controlled by one party, of course, is that only those causes close to the heart of the controlling party will find voice in Raleigh, and only those who contribute to or otherwise pledge their allegiance to that party will find open ears in the state capital.
The advantage is the hope that with less bickering and partisan politics, more will get done.
Former Gov. Bev Perdue was known to pander to special interest groups, use a few hot-button issues in an attempt to make herself look like a stalwart standing against extreme ideology, and to play the politics card whenever she didn’t get what she wanted.
We don’t say this to take shots at a former governor — her time in office is over and the state is moving on — but we mention this as a contrast to what we expect will take place in Raleigh now.
Our hope, and our request of local legislators, is to not get so caught up in supporting the party line that they forget state government is for all people of the state, not just those who vote Republican.