Farmer-Butterfield leaving N.C. House for appeals board

RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — North Carolina lawmakers confirmed on Wednesday a veteran legislator to a state panel considered the last arbiter of unemployment benefit appeals, thus creating a vacancy in the General Assembly.

The state House and Senate voted overwhelmingly to approve Gov. Roy Cooper's nomination of Wilson County Democratic Rep. Jean Farmer-Butterfield to the three-member North Carolina Employment Security Board of Review.

The confirmation means Farmer-Butterfield will have to step down from her House seat. Democratic activists in the 24th House district will have to choose someone to complete her term through the rest of the year, as well as pick someone to replace her on the November ballot.

Farmer-Butterfield, who joined the General Assembly in 2003, was praised by her colleagues during her confirmation floor debate for her commitment to the House and her constituents, as well as for her friendship. Her legislative work has emphasized health care and social services issues.

Only one legislator voted no on her confirmation — Rowan County Republican Sen. Carl Ford.