Friday, December 16, 2016

Jon Hardister on the North Carolina legislative session in its entirety

"There has been a lot of talk about the special session that took place at the North Carolina legislature this week. Here is my take on it.

We acted within our legislative power to structure government in such a way that we can advance policies that we believe are important for North Carolina. We may have considered some of these legislative changes regardless of the outcome of the election. It is normal for a legislative body to take this kind of action. Democrats did this many times in the past, and it was their right to do so.

In fact, Democrats have taken this kind of action in response to the election of two Republican governors and one lieutenant governor. It's amazing how liberals and the media did not complain when Democrats used this authority, but they are now attacking Republicans for doing the same.

This is meant as no disrespect to the Governor-elect Roy Cooper; he still has plenty of authority and I look forward to finding common ground and working with him. But there's nothing wrong with a legislative body acting within it's authority to advance policies that the majority of the body supports. Everything that we did was according to the law, and each bill was heard in committees and debated on the floor in both chambers.

Our focus will continue to be on promoting economic growth, strengthen our education system and enhance government efficiency. We have made great progress on these issues and there is more progress to be made.

As a side note, the proceedings in the House today were halted by protesters who shouted and screamed at us. After being asked to stop, they refused, which resulted in the gallery being forced to leave. This caused many peaceful visitors to also be removed from the gallery, which was not fair to them. It is unacceptable for protesters to cause such chaos that they derail the proceedings of duly-elected members of the legislature. My legislative assistant received a phone call from a protester who threatened my life, which we had to turn over to police to investigate.

Let us hope that civility and reason will prevail. We should treat each other with respect and debate policy rather than engaging in personal attacks."

So let's debate

A legislator can put up a Facebook post to many of his peers,
and a relatively few ideological opponents

Be polite

Maybe we can find some middle ground