I expect the 2013 session of the North Carolina General Assembly to combine a number of discrete, easy-to-explain, and popular initiatives — such as a voter ID bill — with a few big policy slogs, starting with tax reform. My impression of the McCrory administration is that its initial focus will be on reorganizing and retooling state government, an institution that desperately needs reorganization and retooling. It will take several months just for McCrory and his Cabinet to fill out their senior-level team and inventory what has to be done now vs. what can wait until later. The legislature will probably take the policy initiative on tax changes and education reform while the administration takes the lead on regulatory reform.
A legislature chock-full of freshmen and sophomores will be a very different place from what many political observers are used to seeing. Somehow, I think the Republic will survive. But it will take some time to get a clear sense of the personal relations, the institutional arrangements, and the general tone and tenor of the session.
John Hood is president of the John Locke Foundation and an NC Spin Panelist