Less than a month after adjourning, the North Carolina General Assembly is being called back in special session.
According to a notice from House and Senate leadership proclaiming the special session for Tuesday, July 24th, the purpose is “to consider bills concerning matters the General Assembly elects to consider.” That means the legislature can consider anything it so chooses during the session. The real purpose of the session however, is growing concern among Republicans, that an obscure commission – with a Democratic majority and empowered to write summary captions for six proposed constitutional amendments — might seek to influence how individuals vote on the amendments.
The commission, officially called The North Carolina Constitutional Amendments Publication Commission, is made of up three state officials, Elaine Marshall, Secretary of State (D), Paul Coble, Director of Legislative Services (R) and Josh Stein, Attorney General (D).
Officially, the commission is charged with writing a short paragraph which will appear on the ballot. It may also however provide a summary of one or two paragraphs in length of each constitutional amendment which can be provided to local boards of elections or anyone who requests them.
The legislative special session begins at 12 pm tomorrow.