North Carolina’s Republican supermajority in the legislature has thrown a curveball to the state’s insurance commissioner and fire marshal, a position that until recently has mostly stayed above partisan politics.

A late change to the state’s $30 billion budget, approved last week, makes the state fire marshal separate from the insurance commissioner. As in many states, the insurance commissioner position and the fire marshal in North Carolina have been one and the same for decades, and the commissioner has worked closely with local fire departments on improving t

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