Legislators challenge health care overhaul

Published 12:00 am Friday, January 28, 2011

Staff and wire reports
With the first few days of the new General Assembly session over, Rowan County’s two House members have signed on to bills dealing with annexation, eminent domain and an effort to turn back part of the federal government’s health care overhaul.
Rep. Fred Steen, Rep. Harry Warren and Sen. Andrew Brock, all Republicans, took their seats in a legislature this week in Raleigh that is under Republican control for the first time in more than a century.
Brock was not a primary or co-sponsor on any legislation in the body’s first couple of days doing business, according to the General Assembly website.
Steen and Warren are co-sponsors of a bill that would place a moratorium on involuntary annexations and another measure that would prohibit local governments from using eminent domain for economic development
The moratorium would prohibit municipalities from conducting involuntary annexations through June 30, 2011 and would delay until then any annexation ordinance with an effective date after the bill becomes law.
Warren and Steen also signed on to a bill that adds North Carolina to other states challenging the federal health care overhaul law. The House Judiciary Committee voted 23-16 along party lines to approve legislation that aims to block a provision of the federal law requiring Americans to buy insurance beginning in 2014 or pay a penalty.
Democrats argued that requiring everyone who can find an affordable policy to buy coverage reduces the costs everyone pays for treating the uninsured. Democrats also questioned why North Carolina should spend on a legal fight other states already are fighting.
Warren has not been a primary sponsor on any bill yet. Steen is a primary sponsor on a housekeeping bill, one that would make clear the House Committee on State Personnel is the one that carries out the duties of a pensions committee.
Steen is chairman of the Public Utilities Committee; vice chairman of the Commerce and Job Development; and a member of Appropriations, Banking, Health and Human Services and Insurance.
He is a member of the Appropriations Subcommittee on Transportation and the Commerce and Job Development Subcommittee on Alcoholic Beverage Control.
Warren is vice chairman of the Government Committee and a member of Commerce and Job Development, Education, Finance, Insurance and Public Utilities.
He is a member of the Commerce and Job Development Subcommittee on Business and Labor.
Brock is co-chairman of the Appropriations on General Government and Information Technology committee; vice chairman of the Redistricting and Ways and Means committees; and a member of Appropriations/Base Budget, Finance, Judiciary I, Agriculture/Environment/Natural Resources, Pensions & Retirement and Aging, and Rules and Operations of the Senate.