What did North Carolina's legislature do in special session?

AP News
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Posted: Dec 16, 2016 7:43 PM

RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — Here's a look at what the North Carolina General Assembly accomplished or set aside during a three-day special session that ended Friday:

— Passed a bill signed by Gov. Pat McCrory that would combine the State Board of Elections, State Ethics Commission and lobbying regulators into one board. The eight-member commission would have four Democrats and four Republicans. The previous law gave the governor's party a majority of seats on the State Board of Elections and all 100 county boards. Each county elections board also will now be equally divided by party. The bill also reverts elections for appellate court seats to official partisan races and directs the full state Court of Appeals to hear legal cases in certain situations previously ruled on by the court's three-member panels.

— Passed a bill that would shift many administrative powers of the state public school system from the State Board of Education — its positions filled almost entirely by the governor — to the statewide elected superintendent of public instruction. A Republican will assume the superintendent's job next month. The measure also would subject the governor to having his Cabinet secretaries confirmed by the state Senate. Democratic Gov.-elect Roy Cooper also would be allowed to designate up to 425 state employees as his political appointees, compared with a cap of 1,500 for McCrory. McCrory has not yet acted on the bill.

— Confirmed three of McCrory's nominees to two judgeships and a seat on the Industrial Commission, a quasi-judicial panel that rules on workers' compensation claims. One judgeship went to McCrory's outgoing state budget director. The commission position will be filled by the wife of McCrory's chief of staff. No further actions are required.

— Filed roughly 20 other bills addressing topics ranging from prohibiting racial profiling by police to terminating a contract for toll lanes on Interstate 77 north of Charlotte. The bills did not pass.