Collusive settlement bill moves through House committee | Beaufort County Now | After the topic sat dormant for several months, lawmakers once again took up a bill that would ban collusive settlements involving the state attorney general. A state House committee approved the bill Wednesday, Sept. 8.

Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19)
Publisher's Note: This post appears here courtesy of the Carolina Journal. The author of this post is David Bass.

    After the topic sat dormant for several months, lawmakers once again took up a bill that would ban collusive settlements involving the state attorney general. A state House committee approved the bill Wednesday, Sept. 8.

    Senate Bill 360, Prohibit Collusive Settlements by the Attorney General, passed the House Judiciary Committee with a voice vote. The bill next heads to the House Rules Committee and then the full House.

    S.B. 360 would require the state attorney general's office to get sign-off from the legislature before reaching a settlement on a lawsuit in which the General Assembly is a party.

    The measure is meant to resolve the type of situation that evolved in 2020 with actions taken by N.C. State Board of Elections Director Karen Brinson Bell. Republicans say Brinson Bell, a registered Democrat, changed election law after voting began in 2020 and worked with Attorney General Josh Stein, also a Democrat, to reach a secret settlement in a lawsuit brought against the state by plaintiffs working with national Democrat attorney Marc Elias.

    "Last time I checked, if you have two defendants, you should not be settling a lawsuit without the participation of one of the named defendants," said Sen. Paul Newton, R-Cabarrus, at the committee hearing on Wednesday. "This bill is fair. It's just. Regardless of your party affiliation, you should want this bill."

    Rep. Pricey Harrison, D-Guilford, raised the question of whether S.B. 360 passes constitutional muster. "It seems like there is a separation-of-powers issue," she said.

    "We're not saying that the attorney general can't settle lawsuits. That's part of his job," Newton responded. "What we're saying is that when the legislature is a party, you cannot settle with the other defendant without involving the legislature and claim it's a consent judgment. It's kind of as simple as that."

    "I'm not aware there was any collusion," Harrison said. "I understand the concern that if there were, that would be problematic."

    The House already passed its own version of a collusive settlements measure, House Bill 606, in May, but that bill has sat stalled in the Senate Rules Committee. The Senate had also included a ban on collusive settlements in its budget for the new biennium.
Go Back


Latest Op-Ed & Politics

First, I want to thank Commissioner Hood Richardson for bringing Sheriff Coleman's out of control spending and abuse of the overtime budget line item to my attention.
The Town of East Laurinburg’s charter hangs in the balance as the Local Government Commission recently voted unanimously to impound the town’s books and assume full control of its finances due to misappropriation of funds.
State workers in Nevada who are in enrolled in public employee healthcare plans will have to pay up to $55 more a month if they haven’t received the COVID-19 vaccine.
Speaking in Elk Grove Village, Illinois, on Thursday, President Biden made clear what his priorities are, arguing that the “bigger story” isn’t “headlines and reports of mass firings,” but instead that the mandates for large businesses to vaccinate their workers are having some success.
Today, Governor Roy Cooper greeted members of the North Carolina Christmas Tree Association and accepted the Christmas trees and wreaths that will be displayed inside the State Capitol.
Today, Judge Lee trampled the North Carolina constitution and embraced a brazen scheme to sidestep the elected members of the General Assembly and raid the public purse.
The Beaufort county Soil and Water Conservation District Board of Supervisors will meet.
Lawmakers are asking big questions about the state program that puts federal dollars into the hands of renters facing eviction during the pandemic.


The New York Times, in its incessant attempts to remake American history and compartmentalize the American people, offered six new designs for the American flag,
The Biden “plan” is not working. These are just a few of the ways experts are describing the worst jobs report of the year.
President Joe Biden’s approval rating in North Carolina has taken a beating since the first quarter of the year, with just 39% of North Carolinians approving of him today, compared to 57% who disapprove.
I have been reading the current abortion case that has come out of the state of Mississippi and which was heard in oral argument in front of the Supreme Court on Dec. 1, 2021.
Jonathan Isaac, an NBA player for the Orlando Magic, said during an interview with The Blaze this week that he is not allowed to eat with his teammates when they go out to eat at restaurants because he is unvaccinated.
The last puzzle pieces of a new budget are finally coming together, as both the House and the Senate passed the $25.9 billion budget for the biennium. It is now headed to Gov. Roy Cooper, who announced earlier this week that he intends to sign it.
A Truckee Meadows Community College professor was nearly fired for daring to suggest the school retain rigorous math standards. Thankfully, he managed to keep his job.
I have been following the Sheppard case and the Franks case the last couple of years with a somewhat dispassionate interest. The wheels of justice grind and they do grind slow.
Today, the Golden LEAF Board of Directors awarded $4,910,962 in funds for the first round of the new SITE Program. The Board also awarded $95,000 in funding to support a project through the Open Grants Program.


Back to Top