An update on the proposed 2023 City Council state legislative agenda is on the agenda for the Greensboro City Council work session beginning at 3 p.m., Jan. 26, in the Plaza Level Conference Room at city hall.

The last update on the proposed 2023 legislative agenda was at a work session on Oct. 13, 2022, and included a pre-primer on what a legislative agenda is, as well as a report on bills passed by Congress in the past year, given by the new intergovernmental relations manager, LaToya Caesar-Crawford.

In the past, the legislative agenda has been handled by the Greensboro city attorney’s office.

The legislative agenda approved by the City Council for each “long session” of the North Carolina General Assembly has in the past been a list of bills that the Greensboro City Council would like for the legislature to pass.

Because since 2011 the state legislature has had Republican majorities, while the Greensboro City Council has been dominated by Democrats, the City Council legislative agenda is often an exercise in futility.  Currently City Councilmember Zack Matheny is the only Republican on the City Council.

The City Council also has a habit of passing resolutions opposing initiatives that have the support of the majority of the legislature, which does not win Greensboro friends with the majority party in Raleigh.

The City Council has also had bills it supported sponsored by Democratic members of the Guilford County delegation, and bills sponsored by Democrats have little chance of being passed by the Republican majority.

One item on the proposed legislative agenda that does have support in Raleigh is a bill that would allow minor traffic accidents in Greensboro to be investigated by non-sworn personnel.  This bill passed the state House in the last legislative session but was tied up in the Senate Rules Committee when the legislature adjourned.  Allowing non-sworn personnel to investigate minor traffic accidents would free up a lot of time for sworn police officers.   Both Mayor Nancy Vaughan and Former Greensboro Police Chief Brian James were big supporters of this initiative.

Proposed legislation to allow more flexibility in releasing police body-worn camera videos is also expected to be a hold-over from the 2021 City Council legislative agenda.

Under the current law only a Superior Court Judge can release police body-worn camera videos.