A provision allowing the governor to choose his own judge when vacancies arise in district courts was added to a bill allowing eligible prisoners to use Medicaid.
The Senate approved the measure, Senate Bill 321, on Thursday night in a 30-15 vote.
Governors would be required to consider the five candidates chosen by local bar associations, but they wouldn’t have to choose one of those five. Previously, the governor had to pick from three candidates selected by the bar of the judicial district.
“The lawyers are the ones who know the judges, generally, especially at district court,” said Sen. Dan Blue, a Raleigh Democrat.
The provision would make a non-partisan process political, said Sen. Jerry Tillman of Archdale, a Republican.
The bill also calls for reimbursing providers and facilities providing medical assistance outside of confinement facilities.