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North Carolina Legislative Report - March 13, 2015

March 13, 2015

The General Assembly convened for the 2015 legislative session on January 14. Lawmakers returned to Raleigh on January 28 to begin the session in earnest. The MVA Public Affairs Legislative Report on North Carolina will be distributed on a weekly basis to keep you up to date on the latest legislative issues facing the state.

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On The Floor

This week, the Senate passed S 60, No Contact Order/No Expiration; S 82, Vital Records Integrity Act; S 53, Cities/Overgrown Vegetation Notice; S 78, Off-Duty Correctional Officers/Conceal Carry; S 89, Disqualification Notice/Pistol Sale Permit; S 181, Wake County Commissioner Districts; S 232, Honor Girl Scouts and S 36, Greensboro City Council Changes.

The House passed H 31, 0.00 Alcohol Restriction-All DWI; H 32, Amend Habitual DWI; H 59, Clarify Report Admissibility; H 41, Revenue Laws Technical Changes; H 43, Winston-Salem/Parking Meters; H 55, Public Exhibit of Fireworks/NCSU; H 58, Certain Counties Sheriff/Food Purchases; H 71, Clarify County Comm Oath Filing; H 79, Contempt for 50C/Scope of Stay for Appeals; H 134, Soliciting Prostitution/Immunity for Minors and H 157, Amend Environmental Laws.

Committees

Joint Appropriations Committee

The Committee met on Tuesday, March 10, for an overview of the Governor's 2015-17 recommended budget.  State Budget Director Lee Roberts walked members through the proposed spending plan and addressed questions and concerns.  Most of the questions from members centered around pay raises for teachers and other state employees.  The House will now begin its formal budget process, holding subcommittee meetings and releasing its version later this spring.

Joint Appropriations Subcommittee Meetings

The House and Senate continued with joint appropriations subcommittee meetings as they work towards putting together a budget for this year.  Individual subcommittees met this week and reviewed specific budget areas such as Transportation, Health and Human Services, Education, Public Safety, General Government and Information Technology.  These committees took this time to review the current budget and identify key priorities for the upcoming year.  Members will continue their work when they return next week. 

House Transportation Committee

The Committee met on Tuesday, March 10 to address two bills.  H 102, Utility Vehicles/Law Enforcement, authorizes law enforcement officers, emergency personnel and certain county and municipal employees to operate utility vehicles on some public highways.  The bill received a favorable report in committee and is up for third reading on March 16.

H 136, Speed Limit/Highway Work Zone, would change the law so that drivers speeding through a work zone would only be fined if workers are present and actively working.  The bill was up for discussion only and will remain in Committee.

House Environment Committee

The Committee met on Tuesday, March 10, and agreed to a proposed committee substitute to H 157, Amend Environmental Laws. The Committee approved the bill, which seeks to amend various environmental laws including clarifying an Environmental Management Commission rule-making directive.  The EMC now shall adopt rules for the regulation of toxic air emissions from drilling operations, if it determines that the State’s current air toxics program and any federal regulations governing toxic air emissions from drilling operations to be adopted by the State by reference are inadequate to protect public health, safety, welfare and the environment. 

House Rules Committee

The Committee met on Wednesday, March 11, and agreed to a proposed committee substitute to H 157 that removed all finance related provisions.  The Committee approved the updated bill.  

House Health Care Committee

The Committee met on Wednesday, March 11, and approved H 158, Jim Fulghum Teen Skin Cancer Prevention Act.  H 158 would prohibit persons under 18 years of age from using tanning equipment.

House Finance Committee

The Committee met on Thursday, March 12, and quickly approved two bills.  H 5, Military Veterans Special Plate, would reauthorize the Division of Motor Vehicles to produce a special registration for military veterans and remove a requirement for a minimum number of applications before issuing the plate.  H 73, Cary Annexation, would annex certain property in the Holly Brook subdivision into the Town of Cary.

Senate Redistricting Committee

The Committee met on Tuesday, March 10, to hear two bills aimed at changing the political boundaries of two local governments.  S 181, Wake County Commissioner Districts, would add two commissioners to the current seven member board and align the districts with the Wake County School Board districts.  The new districts would take effect in 2018.  S 181 received a favorable report in Committee and was approved by the full Senate. 

S 36, Greensboro City Council Changes, takes the number of seats on the council from nine to seven, eliminates at-large members, creates four year terms and takes away the mayor’s vote.  The bill received a favorable report in Committee and was approved by the full Senate.

Senate Health Care Committee

The Committee met on Tuesday, March 10, and approved S 7, Allow Seating for Food Stand Customers, and S 114, Custodial Parent/Party Cooperate with Child Support.  S 7 seeks to allow food stands to provide tables and chairs for customers to use while consuming drinks or food upon the premises.  S 114 would require DHHS and Division of Social Services to develop a plan requiring custodial parent or other relative of a child receiving child care subsidy payments to cooperate with county child support services programs in order receive the subsidy.

Senate Finance Committee

The Committee met on Wednesday, March 11, with no bills on the agenda.  Instead, the Committee continued hearing presentations from legislative staff about the structure of the State’s tax system and economic arguments with respect to tax reform.

Senate Agriculture/Environment/Natural Resources Committee

The Committee met twice this week.  On Wednesday, March 11, the Committee invited DENR Secretary Don van der Vaart to introduce his team and give updates on a variety of DENR matters.  On Thursday, March 12, the Committee approved H 157, Amend Environmental Laws.   

In The News

Winston-Salem Journal: Bill would end Certificate-of-Need requirement for some facilities

Associated Press: Bills to retool local governments get OK

Associated Press: Pollution mandate changes for NC fracking nears final OK

Greensboro News and Record: Public comment period opens for proposed coal ash reuse projects

Charlotte Observer: Google Fiber: Kansas City offers Charlotte ‘Digital Divide’ lessons

Charlotte Observer: NC fines Duke Energy $25 million for Sutton ash

Raleigh News & Observer: NC legislators critique Gov. McCrory’s proposed budget

WRAL: One-third of NC teachers would get raises under governor's budget

Raleigh News & Observer: NC budget picture improves, but shortfall still in forecast

Raleigh News & Observer: NC House panel debates lottery regulations

Associated Press: Feds take comments on $5B natural gas pipeline

Calendar

Mon, March 16, 2015

2:00 PM

Joint Legislative Program Evaluation Oversight Committee

 643 LOB

6:45 PM

Select Committee on UNC Board of Governors (Senate)

1027/1128 LB

7:00 PM

Session Convenes (House)

 House

7:00 PM

Session Convenes (Senate)

 Senate


Tue, March 17, 2015

8:30 AM

Appropriations, Transportation (Joint)

 1228/1327 LB

8:30 AM

Joint Appropriations on Department of Transportation

 1228/1327 LB

8:30 AM

Joint Appropriations on Justice and Public Safety

 415 LOB

8:30 AM

Appropriations, Education (Joint)

423 LOB

8:30 AM

Joint Appropriations on Education/Higher Education

423 LOB

8:30 AM

Appropriations, General Government (Joint)

425 LOB

8:30 AM

Joint Appropriations on General Government and Information Technology

425 LOB

8:30 AM

Appropriations, Health and Human Services (Joint)

 643 LOB

8:30 AM

Joint Appropriations on Health and Human Services

 643 LOB

15 MINUTES AFTER SESSION

University Board of Governors Nominating (House)

 1228/1327 LB

10:00 AM

Judiciary I (Senate)

Custodial Parent/Party Cooperate w/Child Supp. (S114)

1027/1128 LB

10:00 AM

Judiciary II (Senate)

1124/1224 LB

10:00 AM

Education - K-12 (House)

Amend School Health Assessment Requirement. (H13)
Technical Changes to Courses of Study Statute. (H29)
Arts Education Requirement. (H138)

 643 LOB

11:00 AM

Education - Community Colleges -- CORRECTED (House)

High Achieving Tuition Scholarships. (H129)
Trustee Appointments/Isothermal Comm. Coll. (H188)

 643 LOB

12:00 PM

Transportation (House)

RiverLink Plate Background. (H80)
Insurance and Safety Inspection/Mopeds. (H148)
Limit Motor Vehicle Emissions Inspections. (H169)
Repeal Map Act. (Information Only) (H183)

 643 LOB

1:00 PM

Judiciary II (House)

Lottery Act Clarified. (H109)
Omnibus Criminal Law Bill. (H173)

421 LOB

1:00 PM

Finance (Senate)

 544 LOB

1:30 PM

North Carolina General Statutes Commission, Trusts Drafting Committee

Rm 5003, UNC Law School, 60 Ridge Road


Wed, March 18, 2015

8:30 AM

Appropriations, Transportation (Joint)

 1228/1327 LB

8:30 AM

Joint Appropriations on Department of Transportation

 1228/1327 LB

8:30 AM

Joint Appropriations on Justice and Public Safety

 415 LOB

8:30 AM

Appropriations, Agriculture and Natural and Economic Resources (Joint)

421 LOB

8:30 AM

Joint Appropriations on Natural and Economic Resources

421 LOB

8:30 AM

Appropriations, Education (Joint)

423 LOB

8:30 AM

Joint Appropriations on Education/Higher Education

423 LOB

8:30 AM

Appropriations, General Government (Joint)

425 LOB

8:30 AM

Joint Appropriations on General Government and Information Technology

425 LOB

8:30 AM

Appropriations, Health and Human Services (Joint)

 643 LOB

8:30 AM

Joint Appropriations on Health and Human Services

 643 LOB

10:00 AM

Health (House)

PED Recs/Publicly Funded Substance Abuse Svcs. (H119)

 643 LOB

11:00 AM

Alcoholic Beverage Control (House)

423 LOB

11:00 AM

Commerce and Job Development (House)

Site and Building Development Fund. (H108)

 643 LOB

12:00 PM

Workforce and Economic Development (Senate)

 544 LOB

12:30 PM

Judiciary I (House)

Davie County/Food for Detention Facilities. (H130)
Amend Advance Health Care Directives Laws. (H146)

 415 LOB


Thu, March 19, 2015

8:30 AM

Appropriations, Transportation (Joint)

 1228/1327 LB

8:30 AM

Joint Appropriations on Department of Transportation

 1228/1327 LB

8:30 AM

Joint Appropriations on Justice and Public Safety

 415 LOB

8:30 AM

Appropriations, Agriculture and Natural and Economic Resources (Joint)

421 LOB

8:30 AM

Joint Appropriations on Natural and Economic Resources

421 LOB

8:30 AM

Appropriations, General Government (Joint)

425 LOB

8:30 AM

Appropriations, Health and Human Services (Joint)

 643 LOB

8:30 AM

Joint Appropriations on Health and Human Services

 643 LOB

10:00 AM

Environment (House)

 544 LOB

12:00 PM

Banking (House)

Eliminate Audited Financial Statement Req. (H104)
Reduce Mortgage Lender Surety Bonds. (H105)
Expand Banking Commission Membership. (H106)

 1228/1327 LB

12:00 PM

Homeland Security, Military, and Veterans Affairs (House)

421 LOB


Tue, March 24, 2015

10:30 AM

Rep. Adcock - Press Conference

 Press Room LB

1:30 PM

Speaker Tim Moore - Press Conference

 Press Room LB


Wed, April 01, 2015

12:30 PM

Rep. Gill - Press Conference

 Press Room LB

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For more information or to be added to our distribution list, please feel free to contact our North Carolina Legislative team.