Editor’s Note: This is a weekly roundup of North Carolina General Assembly news affecting Raleigh.
Dix Talks Simmering
The debate over the Dorothea Dix property has cooled down since Gov. Pat McCrory and Raleigh Mayor Nancy McFarlane met two weeks ago and expressed a desire for compromise. Since last week’s update, the bill has passed a second and third reading in the House. It passed 111 to 5 there. Democratic Representative Darren Jackson was the only local vote against the revision. The legislation is now on the Senate’s calendar for more discussion today.
Ayers To Be New Director
Christopher Ayers is on track to be the new executive director of Public Staff to the North Carolina Utilities Commission. In a joint resolution, the House and Senate voted almost unanimously to put Ayers through as director. The votes were 112 to 4 in the House and 49 to 0 in the Senate, with excused absences accounting for the differences. Ayers has made a career as a lawyer representing utility, telecom, and environmental interests as a partner with local law firm, Poyner-Spruill. His two-year appointment to the Environmental Management Commission ends this month.
Grace On Track for Commissioner
Likewise, the Senate has passed its recommendation for Ray Grace as Commissioner of Banks. The resolution passed 47 to 0. In the House, the joint resolution has passed its first reading and is currently in the Committee on Banking. Grace, a Vietnam veteran, is currently serving as the Acting Commissioner of Banks. He has also filled roles as Chief Deputy Commissioner and Director of Bank Applications during his more than 35-year tenure at the NC Commission of Banks.