NC Sen. Lee new budget chairman in upcoming session

Published 3:51 pm Thursday, January 12, 2023

Getting your Trinity Audio player ready...

Veteran state Sen. Michael Lee of New Hanover County has been elevated to one of the chief Senate budget-writing positions for the next two years, presumptive Senate leader Phil Berger announced on Tuesday.

Lee will join fellow Republican Sens. Brent Jackson of Sampson County and Ralph Hise of Mitchell County as Senate Appropriations Committee chairmen.

Lee replaces Sen. Kathy Harrington, who didn’t seek reelection to the chamber in November. Jackson and Hise served as chairmen during the previous session.

Get the latest headlines sent to you

Other GOP committee chairmanships announced Tuesday includes Sen. Jim Perry of Lenoir County joining Sens. Bill Rabon of Brunswick County and Paul Newton of Cabarrus County as top Senate Finance Committee leaders.

Perry replaces Sen. Warren Daniel of Burke County, who is now a chairman of the judiciary committee and remains a leader of the redistricting and elections committee. Daniel is now also the No. 2 leader on the Senate Rules Committee, still chaired by Rabon.

Sen. Amy Galey of Alamance County succeeds outgoing Sen. Deanna Ballard as a co-chair of the education committee. Galey and Sen. Lisa Barnes of Nash County also now help chair the education budget subcommittee.

Sen. Buck Newton of Wilson County, who rejoins the Senate after a six-year absence, received a judiciary committee chairmanship, serving with Daniel and Sen. Danny Britt of Robeson County. Sen. Norm Sanderson of Pamlico County is no longer a judiciary panel co-chair, but he holds other chairmanships.

The General Assembly is scheduled to convene Wednesday for one day to elect chamber leaders and organize the upcoming two-year session.

As with the previous session, Democrats will have no chairmanships on the Senate’s standing committees. Democrats hold 20 of the chamber’s 50 seats.