Officials from N.C. Citizens for Business and Industry, the largest business group in the state, said Nov. 15 that they were concerned by the length of this year's session, the longest in state history.
As a result, NCCBI has thrown its support behind term limits for the General Assembly. The legislature began meeting at the end of January and is still in session.
The proposed bill, favored by NCCBI, would limit the General Assembly's session to no more than 135 calendar days during odd-numbered years and no more than 60 days in even-numbered years.
Danny Lineberry, spokesman for House Speaker Jim Black, D-Mecklenburg, said the bill has stalled in the House because it does not have enough votes to pass.
He said the bill involves changing the state constitution, which requires a three-fifths majority vote.
Lineberry emphasized that Black has told the business lobbyists, who are pushing legislators to consider the bill, that the House will vote on the bill if the lobbyists can build enough support.
House Speaker Pro Tem Joe Hackney, D-Orange, an opponent of the bill, said he looked at other states with a limited legislative session and found that term limits do not work well.
Hackney said short legislative sessions generally do not give enough time to address issues sufficiently.
"Long sessions are pretty much an aberration (in North Carolina)," Hackney said.