12:00 noon on the third Wednesday after the second Monday in January next

The North Carolina General Assembly will convene its 2009 Regular Session  January 28, 2009, which is  “12:00 noon on the third Wednesday after the second Monday in January next after their election.”

Prior to 1879, North Carolina legislative elections were in early August and convening was mid-November. Elections were moved to November beginning with 1879. From 1879 through 1955, the General Assembly convened in early January.  From 1957 through 1967, convening was in early February, followed by a mid-January date from 1969 through 1983. The 1985 and 1987 session went to an early February convening, followed by mid-January in 1989. The current pattern of late January began in 1991.

How did it get to that complicated a date?  Here is a history of the changes since the Civil War:

1) Constitution of 1868: convene on the “third Monday in November” (but elections at that time were on the “first Thursday in August”)

2) Ordinance of the Constitutional Convention of 1875: convene on “the first Wednesday after the first Monday in January”, elections were changed about that time to be in November.

3) 1955, (1955 c. 1253) Constitutional amendment set convening at “first Wednesday after the first Monday in February … unless a different day shall be provided by law …”

4) 1967, Chapter 1181, sets convening date at “first Wednesday after the second Monday in January”

5) 1969 constitutional rewrite (1969 c. 1258) provides that General Assembly to convene on the date set by law.

6) 1983, Chapter 949:  Convening date for 1985 only set at “the first Tuesday in February of 1985”

7) 1985, Chapter 994:  Convening date for 1987 only set at “the second Monday in February of 1987”

8)   1989, Chapter 1066, Section 21; Changed from “first Wednesday after the second Monday in January” two weeks later to “third Wednesday after the second Monday in January”

Here are convening dates since 1872:

2013 1/30

2011 1/26

2009 1/28

2007 1/24

2005 1/26

2003 1/29

2001 1/24

1999 1/27

1997 1/29

1995 1/25

1993 1/27

1991 1/30

1989 1/11

1987 2/9

1985 2/5

1983 1/12

1981 1/14

1979 1/20

1977 1/12

1975 1/15

1973 1/10

1971 1/13

1969 1/15

1967 2/8

1965 2/3

1963 2/6

1961 2/8

1959 2/4

1957 2/6

1955 1/5

1953 1/7

1951 1/3

1949 1/5

1947 1/7

1945 1/3

1943 1/6

1941 1/8

1939 1/4

1937 1/6

1935 1/9

1933 1/4

1931 1/5

1929 1/9

1927 1/5

1925 1/7

1923 1/3

1921 1/5

1919 1/8

1917 1/3

1915 1/6

1913 1/8

1911 1/4

1909 1/6

1907 1/9

1903 1/4

1901 1/7

1899 1/4

1897 1/6

1895 1/9

1893 1/4

1891 1/8

1889 1/9

1887 1/5

1885 1/7

1883 1/3

1881 1/5

1879 1/8

1876 11/19

1874 11/16

1872 11/20

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