The 2017-2018 session of the North Carolina General Assembly began in earnest this week. After an organizational session earlier this month, there was a two-week break for office moves, committee assignments, and last-minute fundraisers. This week, despite no committee meetings or votes on the floor, there was plenty of activity. Legislative leaders continued to battle Democratic Gov. Roy Cooper in the press, on everything from Cooper’s Medicaid expansion proposal (which looks increasingly like a nonstarter as the Trump administration weighed in on the side of the legislature) to the corporate tax cuts championed by the leadership and criticized by the Governor. At the same time, Gov. Cooper, Speaker Moore, and Pro Tem Berger continued private discussions on a number of issues, including a potential repeal of House Bill 2 (though no consensus has been reached on how to achieve the compromise legislative leaders have insisted on as a condition for repeal). This week, committee Chairs in each chamber were given their gavels and assignments were made (and in some cases changed), with new Chairs taking the reins of some powerful committees (Senate Finance, Senate Rules, House Regulatory Reform, among others). How these new Chairs will lead their committees and what direction their respective policy areas may go this session remains to be seen, and was the subject of much discussion and speculation this week. Read the full report here.