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Our View: Looking for common ground in Raleigh

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Wednesday, January 11, 2017

The N.C. General Assembly returns to Raleigh today for the start of the legislative long session.

As we noted in this space last week, the initial jousting between Republican leaders and new Gov. Roy Cooper does not bode well for a cooperative year. Your take on which side is right on any given issue probably aligns with how you voted in November. But it would be nice to find common ground for legislative leaders and the governor to come together on.

We are tired. We are tired of the finger-pointing and the name-calling and the last-minute surprises that seem to accompany practically every action in Raleigh these days. They only leave us further discouraged about a government that is supposed to serve the best interests of all of us.

Already we are hearing heated differences of opinion on issues such as House Bill 2, Medicaid expansion and redistricting. The hyperbole and rhetoric surrounding those matters likely will escalate as the session goes on. That is why it would do all of us some good to take a time-out for one session. Find something the governor and lawmakers can agree on, and move forward with that.

Doing so would give all of us a break and might even rebuild a little trust that might improve the discussion around thornier issues later. At this point, it is hard to imagine a political atmosphere much worse than the one we have seen over the past few years. And that was when a Republican was in the governor’s office.

Here is hoping for a legislative session that begins in good faith and builds on constructive dialogue for an issue that benefits all of us. We have before us a new year and a new field of officers.

Are a little respect and courtesy too much to ask?

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