Kilpatrick Townsend’s government relations team represents a variety of clients across many industries and at all levels of government, with a focus on the North Carolina General Assembly. Below is an update on CN General Assembly activity this week.
Welcome, Fritz Vaughan
The North Carolina Government Relations team is proud to announce the addition of Fritz Vaughan to our team. Fritz brings over fifteen years of legal and political experience to help a wide variety of clients achieve their political and business goals at all levels of government, with a particular focus on the United States Congress and federal agencies. .
Prior to joining the cabinet, Fritz was Senior Assistant Assistant Secretary for Legislative Affairs at the United States Department of the Treasury, where he helped manage the Treasury Legislative Affairs Office and Congressional Engagement Strategy on various issues, particularly tax, banking and financial matters. , BSA / AML compliance, international monetary sanctions and the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (CFIUS). He participated in the enactment and implementation of predominantly bipartisan legislation essential to address the economic impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic, such as the Humanitarian Aid, Relief and Economic Security Act. coronavirus (CARES Act) and the Coronavirus Family Response Act (FFCRA). Fritz was also responsible for the development, management and execution of the Congressional engagement strategy for all oversight requests and other high-level matters, and he prepared the secretary and other senior executives at numerous Congressional hearings and briefings. Fritz is the recipient of the Secretary of the Treasury’s Outstanding Service Award.
Prior to serving at the Treasury, Fritz was Senior Legal Counsel to the Financial Services Committee of the United States House of Representatives, where he managed all policy, legislation, and hearings on capital markets, securities, and corporate matters. investment. In remarks to the House, then President Jeb Hensarling recognized Fritz for his role in negotiating the JOBS and Investor Confidence Act of 2018 (“JOBS Act 3.0”), a bipartisan set of 32 bills. passed by House 406-4. Other government and policy experiences for Fritz include serving in the Office of Intergovernmental Affairs at the White House and in the Office of Federal Procurement Policy in the Office of Management and Budget during the second term of President George W. Bush, as well as work on several campaigns.
Additionally, Fritz previously practiced law in the New York and Washington DC offices of another international law firm where his practice focused on white collar and securities litigation and regulatory investigations, as well as on other corporate governance issues. He served as court clerk for the Honorable Loretta A. Preska, Chief Justice, United States District Court for the Southern District of New York. While studying at the Law School of the University of Georgia, Fritz was editor-in-chief of the Georgia Law Review, Volume 46. He received his undergraduate degree from Wake Forest University.
Budget negotiations between the governor and the legislature continued this week. The Republican leadership received a counter-offer from Governor Cooper on Wednesday. The specific details of the proposal remain confidential. Senate Speaker Pro Tempore Berger (R-Rockingham) only said: “We continue to have differences, we will try to resolve them.” Governor Cooper said he is still working to expand Medicaid and invest in strong basic education and teacher increases. We expect House and Senate leaders to work on their counter-offer over the weekend.
Governor Cooper and Republican and Democratic House and Senate leaders last Friday announced an agreement on major energy legislation. The bipartisan compromise was adopted by the legislature this week. H951, Energy Solutions for North Carolina, is very different from the version that was passed by the House in July (going from 50 pages to 10). Some of the main provisions of the bill include:
- Demands that the NC Utilities Commission take all reasonable steps to achieve a 70% reduction in carbon dioxide emissions from electric utilities by 2030 and achieve carbon neutrality by 2050;
- Demands that utilities use 50% securitization to decommission coal-fired power plants;
- Authorizes the Commission to use “performance-based regulation” for electric utilities operating in the state. This means an alternative pricing approach that includes the decoupling of income from electricity consumption, one or more performance incentive mechanisms and a multi-year pricing plan; and
- Help ensure reliable energy by maintaining the model of vertical integration of utilities with a utilities commission that retains strong regulatory authority and discretion.
The bill was passed by the Senate on Wednesday by 42 votes to 7. The House voted in favor Thursday with a 90-20 vote. We expect the governor to sign the measure soon after it reaches his office.
The redistribution process officially started this week. Lawmakers began drawing new maps for all of the state’s legislative and congressional districts. The House and Senate redistribution committees met separately to deal with preliminary matters and outline the process to be followed. The Senate released 16 possible maps of different county groupings, which would then be divided into one to six seats depending on the population of each grouping. The Chamber considered 8 possible maps of different groupings of counties. Each chamber will use these maps as a starting point for the redistribution process.
All lawmakers and members of the public will have access to four map drawing kiosks during the week. The terminals will be open Monday to Friday from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Terminal availability can be extended to nights and weekends as needed. The goal is to vote on the final cards in the next two weeks.