NC General Assembly session at a glance

Published on NewsOK Modified: January 26, 2013 at 9:13 am •  Published: January 26, 2013
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— Loosening teacher tenure. Berger wants to loosen the rules that make it difficult to fire poorly performing public school teachers, citing changes in Colorado as a possible model. An education overhaul bill Berger offered in 2012 would have ended tenure, but it got cut during final negotiations. Tillis said he's willing to consider legislation that school leaders say will be effective.

— Linking curriculum to jobs. Expect legislative leaders and McCrory to push legislation to ensure students are taught more specific skills that will allow them to land jobs in hard-to-recruit industries in the state.

— School choice. Some lawmakers want to revive a 2012 measure that would allow corporations to divert their state taxes to nonprofits, which would in turn distribute scholarships of up to $4,000 per student for private K-12 school tuition. Critics say the bill is just school "vouchers" by another name.

— Gun control: Republican legislative leaders don't sound interested in any measures that would place new gun ownership restrictions in the wake of the Connecticut elementary school shootings last month. It's too early to tell whether there's support for passing legislation to put more armed guards inside schools or to arm teachers.

— Right-to-work constitutional amendment: Tillis and Berger say they're open to a constitutional amendment that would affirm North Carolina's status as a "right-to-work" state, meaning people can't be required to join a union to get a job.

— Eugenics compensation. Tillis said he'll push again a measure that would give monetary compensation to living victims of North Carolina's previous forced sterilization program. A bill giving $50,000 to each survivor passed the House in 2012, but the Senate wouldn't support it.

— Abortion restrictions. House Speaker Pro Tempore Paul Stam, R-Wake, said legislation is being drafted that would exclude abortion coverage from the health insurance exchanges and outlaw abortions based on gender preferences. McCrory has been cool to regulating abortion further. Portions of a 2011 abortion restriction measure were struck down by a federal judge.