NC Senate confirms appointments

Raleigh – After a delay extending back to the 2015 long session, the North Carolina Senate has begun confirming Governor’s appointments to various positions in the state.

Lyons Gray, former Secretary of the North Carolina Department of Revenue, was confirmed unanimously to the North Carolina Utilities Commission.

Lyons Gray, Former Secretary of the N.C. Department of Revenue

Lyons Gray, former Secretary of Revenue

“Lyons Gray will bring his considerable experience and common sense wisdom to the Utilities Commission, a regulatory body that affects nearly every North Carolina citizen,” said McCrory of Gray when announcing the appointment in 2015.

Gray has been seated on the Utlitities Commission for more than a year awaiting the Senate confirmation.

The joint resolution to confirm Gray now heads to the House.

The Senate also voted to confirm Linda Morrison Combs to the position of State Controller, to which she was appointed by McCrory in 2014.

“Linda Morrison Combs brings a wealth of knowledge and experience to the Controller’s Office, as well as a love for her native North Carolina,” said McCrory. “Her considerable expertise will greatly benefit the state’s taxpayers.”

Combs was previously the Controller of the United States.

“I have been through a total of seven confirmations, all unanimous; five by Congress and two in the General Assembly,” said Combs of her long career.

Combs has already been confirmed by the House.

Chris Loutit was also confirmed by the Senate as a commissioner of the North Carolina Industrial Commission.  Loutit was formerly chief deputy commissioner and chief administrator of the Industrial Commission.

Anne Faircloth, Faylene Whitaker, and James Lambeth were also confirmed by the Senate to positions on the North Carolina Board of Agriculture for five year terms.

Five of the six confirmations must now head to the House.  Combs was already confirmed by the House in 2015.

The confirmations come after a North Carolina Supreme Court decision in early 2016 laid to rest legal conflicts over appointments made by the Governor and the General Assembly.  The Supreme Court opinion dealt with the Oil and Gas Commission, the Mining Commission, and the Coal Ash Management Commission which were created by legislation enacted in 2014.