NC legislative session opening subdued amid virus worries; masks not required in NCGA

North Carolina news

RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — The North Carolina General Assembly begins a new two-year session with Republicans still in charge and COVID-19 safety concerns still prominent.

The House and Senate gavel in at midday Wednesday for a one-day meeting to seat the 170 lawmakers that make up the legislature and elect chamber leaders.

With Republicans holding majorities, Sen. Phil Berger of Eden is expected to be elected to a sixth term as Senate leader and Rep. Tim Moore of Kings Mountain to a fourth term as House speaker.

The opening day in Raleigh will be subdued compared to previous years due to the coronavirus. The family of senators and representatives won’t be on the floor with their loved ones, and press in the chambers are limited. Face coverings, while encouraged, are not required, however.

Wednesday also marks the first day for new Lt. Gov. Mark Robinson as the Senate’s presiding officer.

After Wednesday, lawmakers won’t reconvene until Jan. 27.

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