Bill Barring “Sue-and-Settle” Schemes Clears Senate Committee
Legislation follows secret settlement between AG Stein, Dem Elections Director and Dem Party lawyer changing election laws after voting began
Raleigh, N.C. — Today the Senate Redistricting and Elections Committee approved Senate Bill 360, which would require legislative leaders to sign off on any deal settling a lawsuit to which the legislature is a party.
The chairmen of the committee, Sens. Paul Newton (R-Cabarrus), Warren Daniel (R-Burke), and Ralph Hise (R-Mitchell), sponsored the bill.
The legislation comes on the heels of the Executive Director of the Democratic Party-controlled N.C. State Board of Elections, Karen Brinson Bell, and Democratic Attorney General Josh Stein secretly negotiating with the national Democratic Party’s top lawyer, Marc Elias, to reach a “settlement” deal that changed election laws after voting began last year.
The legislation simply prevents state agencies from circumventing the lawmaking process and changing laws through settlements with friendly plaintiffs.
“No agency head should have the ability to change state law on their own or secretly settle a lawsuit with political allies,” Sen. Newton said. “This bill intends to put an end to these ‘sue-and-settle’ schemes. Elections Director Karen Brinson Bell and Attorney General Josh Stein lost the trust of the voters last year when they changed election laws in the middle of an election. ”
The bill will now go to the Senate Rules Committee before potential consideration on the Senate floor.