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NC Legislative Update: August 30, 2019

August 30, 2019

The House held session Monday through Thursday this week, while the Senate was in town Monday through Wednesday. Both chambers continued to advance “mini budgets” by using smaller, individual bills with select portions of the budget vetoed by Governor Cooper earlier this year. The Governor has criticized this effort to piecemeal the budget and called it a gimmick, but has not said if he will veto the bills. Moving the budget in pieces has been brought up before as a tactic to get around a budget deal tied to the Governor’s Medicaid expansion demand. Democrats have called this a political move to force Governor Cooper to veto seemingly popular bills before an election year, but most mini budget bills have passed with Democratic support.

Governor Cooper received the following mini budget bills containing salary raises this week. The first, House Bill 126, gives State Highway Patrol (SHP) officers a 5% raise over the next two years. The second, House Bill 226, allocates $800 million for a 5% across-the-board raise to all state employees over the two year budget. House Bill 777 spends $5 million on a 5% over two years raise for State Bureau of Investigation (SBI) officers and Alcohol Law Enforcement (ALE) officers, and it fixes their salary schedule to the (SHP) schedule, which will boost starting pay and decrease the number of years to qualify for top pay. Governor Cooper also received House Bill 609, which gives correctional employees a 5% raise over two years. All four bills were approved by the legislature unanimously. Governor Cooper will have until September 7 to veto or sign the bills, or they will become law.

One of the more controversial mini budgets to pass this week was House Bill 555, which contains provisions from the Health and Human Services budget that allocates funds for Medicaid Transformation, which is the State’s movement to capitated Medicaid contracts. The bill passed without any Democrats voting for it, as they claimed healthcare funding should include discussions around Medicaid expansion and they expressed concerns about healthcare management organizations (HMOs) denying coverage in an effort to cut costs. Governor Cooper will have until September 8 to act on this bill.

WBTV: https://www.wbtv.com/2019/08/28/bill-providing-pay-raises-law-enforcement-other-state-employees-passes-nc-senate/

WRAL: https://www.wral.com/pay-raise-bills-moving-as-governor-blasts-gop/18595249/

While the budget stalemate continues, the State will continue operating under a 2015 law that prevents a government shutdown by keeping in place the recurring funding levels of last year’s budget until a new one is adopted. House Speaker Tim Moore has indicated that he still believes that the House will be able to override the veto. This will require at least several House Democrats to be absent, since 51 of the 55 House Democrats have signed on to a letter pledging that they will not vote to override Governor Cooper’s veto. Despite passing individual portions of the budget, the House has still placed the motion to override the veto on their calendar daily.

Governor Cooper Vetoes Excellent Public Schools Act

Governor Cooper vetoed Senate Bill 438, the Excellent Public Schools Act of 2019, this week. The bill made various changes to the State’s Read to Achieve program, which was championed by Senate President Pro Tem Phil Berger, and is meant to address literacy rates in grades K-3. The program has faced some pushback from teachers, who claim that the mandated reading assessments takeaway from instructional time, and parents whose children have had to attend summer reading programs in order to advance to the next grade level.  In his veto message, Governor Cooper acknowledged that teaching children to read was critical for success, but claimed that the reading assessments in the Read to Achieve program have been ineffective. Cooper also mentioned an ongoing dispute over the procurement process for the contract to administer the assessments, after State Superintendent Mark Johnson awarded the contract to a new vendor, despite committee recommendations in favor of another. The bill did not pass the House with a veto proof vote, and it is unclear if the legislature will be able to override.

Healthy NC Bill

Conferees have been appointed to the omnibus healthcare bill this week. The Senate conferees are the following: Senator Hise (Chair), Senator Krawiec, Senator Burgin, and Senator Perry. The House conferees are Representative Dobson (Chair), Representative Lambeth, Representative White, and Representative Potts.

The house passed the bill with nine parts that do the following: creates a Psychology Interjurisdictional Compact (PSYPACT), allows licensed marriage and family therapists to perform first examinations for involuntary commitments, eliminates redundant adult care home inspections, creates the Lupus Advisory Council, requires that insurers develop formularies for Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) approved step therapy, requires insurers to cover oral chemo drugs the same as injected chemo, requires Medicaid to pay for telemedicine, requires private insurance and the State Health Plan to cover telehealth services, and creates the North Carolina Healthcare Solutions Task Force. The Senate has historically blocked some of these provisions dealing with what they consider to be insurance mandates. It is expected that the Senate will push for Certificate of Need (CON) law changes as a bargaining chip in these negotiations, but House leadership has indicated that CON reform is a non-starter for them.

2019 Session Laws

The following 206 bills have become law this session:

  1. SB 7: Bipartisan Ethics Appointments
  2. SB 75: Restore Ct. of Appeals Membership
  3. SB 77: Ag Disaster Fund/Certain Counties
  4. SB 214: Ensure Orderly 2019 Elections
  5. SB 12: Fill Certain Vacancies/Alexander & Burke Co.
  6. SB 56: Revenue Laws Technical Changes
  7. SB 4: Extend Terms of 2 Members/Coastal Carolina CC
  8. SB 272: Zoning for University Facilities-Durham
  9. SB 6: Dare County/CC Construction Funds
  10. SB 162: Loan Origination/Late Payment Charge Changes
  11. HB 263: Fill Vacancies/Modify 2018 Appointments
  12. SB 63: City of Kannapolis/Annexation
  13. HB 130: Allow Game Nights
  14. SB 505: Rural Job Retention Act
  15. SB 605: Highway Storm Recovery Act
  16. HB 1014: 2020 Census VTD Verification Program
  17. SB 310: Electric Co-Op Rural Broadband Services
  18. HB 363: Craft Beer Distribution & Modernization Act
  19. HB 233: State Auditor/Local Finance Officer Amends
  20. HB 532: DNCR Add New Trails & Various Changes
  21. HB 388: Immunizing Pharmacists
  22. HB 646: ID Approval/Flex Muni One-Stop
  23. HB 70: Delay NC HealthConnex for Certain Providers
  24. HB 9: Bessemer City Charter Amendment
  25. HB 201: Randolph Co. Register of Deeds Tax Cert
  26. SB 252: Dental Bill of Rights
  27. SB 138: Even-Yr Municipal Elections/Town of Black Mtn.
  28. SB 139: Even-Yr. Municipal Elections/Town of Montreat
  29. HB 336: Extend Suspension of Spencer Mountain
  30. SB 235: Franklin/Nash Municipalities/Unfit Dwellings
  31. SB 30 Stanly CC/Contracting Date Extension
  32. SB 381: Reconstitute/Clarify Boards and Commissions
  33. HB 301: CIP Revisions/Juvenile Code
  34. HB 179: Mini-Truck Classification
  35. HB 131: Repeal Map Act
  36. HB 82: Railroad Crossings/On-Track Equipment
  37. SB 648: Support Shellfish Aquaculture
  38. SB 448: Amend Appt For Compact on Education/Military
  39. SB 255: State Board Construction Contract Claim
  40. SB 151: Break or Enter Pharmacy/Increase Penalty
  41. HB 617: Allow Repeat Referral to Teen Court
  42. HB 578: Modify Legitimations Provisions
  43. HB 548: Modify Physical Therapy Definition
  44. HB 383: Topsail Beach Charter/Board Vacancies
  45. HB 1016: UNC Boards of Trustees Appointments
  46. HB 1017: Special Master Wake House Plan
  47. HB 415: Photos of Juveniles/Show-Ups
  48. SB 148: Public Records/Release of LEO Recordings
  49. SB 11: ABC Regulation and Reform
  50. SB 466: EDPNC Modifications
  51. HB 57: Create Term for Public Schs. & Codify NCVPS
  52. HB 389: ABC/Univ Athletic Facility
  53. HB 531: Tenants at Foreclosure Act Restored
  54. HB 658: Allow Donations of Unexpired Drugs
  55. HB 664: myFutureNC/Postsecondary Attainment Goal
  56. HB 432: Water/Sewer to Contiguous Dwelling Units
  57. HB 219: NAIC Accreditation Amendments.-AB
  58. SB 80: China Grove Satellite Annexation
  59. SB 242: Recreational Land Fee Changes
  60. SB 227: TP3/Principal Fellows Consolidation
  61. SB 84: Walkertown Zoning Authorizations
  62. SB 262: Union/Prohibit Certain Hunting Acts
  63. SB 674: Surry Co./Mt. Airy/Elkin City/Bd. Ed Partisan
  64. HB 15: Lexington/Dissolve Utilities Commission
  65. HB 240: Albemarle/City Labor for Business Ctr
  66. HB 299: Henderson Cty/Build Community College Bldgs
  67. HB 6: Burlington Airport/Lease/Contract Authority
  68. SB 225: Repeal Tuition Surcharge
  69. HB 537: Hwy Use Tax Vehicle Subscriptions
  70. HB 934: Right to Try Adult Stem Cell Treatments
  71. SB 219: Modify Teacher Licensing Requirements
  72. SB 55: Continuing Education for General Contractors
  73. SB 483: Vacation Rental Act Changes
  74. SB 610: Authorize Northern Peaks Trail
  75. SB 95: Veterans Memorial Funds/Do Not Revert
  76. SB 556: GSC People First Language 2019
  77. SB 529: Fees/Returned Checks
  78. SB 88: Electrician Requirements for Certain Orgs
  79. SB 313: Guar. to Streamline Afford. Housing
  80. SB 127: Protect Governmental Accountability
  81. HB 656: Medicaid Changes for Transformation
  82. HB 924: Teacher Contract Changes
  83. HB 474: Death by Distribution
  84. HB 67: Road Barrier Prohibition
  85. HB 310: Clarify Insurance Prod'r Crim. Bckgrd Check
  86. HB 812: Nutrient Offset Amendments
  87. HB 886: Study Participation of Operators in NC Pre-K
  88. HB 529: Utilities/Water and Wastewater Consumption
  89. HB 917: Emergency Declaration/Clarify Rd Closure
  90. HB 747: NC Missing Person Information Sharing
  91. HB 770: Freedom to Work/OLB Reform
  92. HB 871: Fair Contracts
  93. HB 4: Claremont Deannexation
  94. HB 52: Wrightsville Beach Local Act Amendment
  95. HB 204: Town of Beaufort/Annexation
  96. HB 349: Wilkes County Fire Tax-Procedure
  97. HB 489: Lincolnton-Lincoln County Airport Authority
  98. HB 80: Roanoke Rapids Lake/Unattended Equip
  99. HB 237: Brunswick County Zoning Procedure Changes
  100. HB 368: Bermuda Run/Speed Restrictions
  101. HB 98: Macon/Clay/No Right-of-Way Spotlighting
  102. HB 134: Filling Vacancy/Onslow County Board of Comm
  103. HB 170: Various Satellite Annexations
  104. HB 187: Amend Town of Elon Charter/Parking Ordinances
  105. HB 285: City of Sanford/Town of Beaufort/Vol Annex
  106. HB 239: Pitt County Animal Control Records
  107. HB 324: Local Hunting Omnibus
  108. HB 429: Navigable Waters/Manteo/Hyde
  109. SB 191: Out-of-State Law Enforcement/2020 Rep Convtn
  110. SB 399: Rehire High-Need Teachers
  111. SB 355: Land-Use Regulatory Changes
  112. SB 378: Local Economic Development Modifications
  113. SB 394: Changes to Estates & Trusts Statutes
  114. SB 311: Massage Board Membership
  115. HB 257: Motorcycles/Face Masks
  116. HB 224: Assault w/ Firearm on LEO/Increase Punishment
  117. SB 594: Register of Deeds Updates
  118. SB 525: Textile Hist. Site/Operate SE NC Museum
  119. SB 220: Removal of Political Signs by Citizens
  120. SB 500: Modify Advanced Math Course Enrollment
  121. SB 186: Beaufort-Morehead Cty Airport Authority/Amend
  122. SB 686: Appointments Bill 2019
  123. HB 492: Simplify Builder Inventory Exclusion
  124. HB 402: UNC Capital Projects
  125. SB 384: Clarify Motor Vehicle Dealer Laws
  126. HB 761: Clarify Wastewater Permitting Liability
  127. HB 758: MSD Expansion and Governance/DACS Study
  128. HB 755: Travel Insurance Amendments
  129. HB 735: Adopt Rules Incorporating 2017 Food Code
  130. HB 629: Law Enforcement Mutual Aid
  131. HB 495: No Municipal Reg/Off-Site Wastewater Systems
  132. HB 329: Renewable Energy Amends
  133. HB 156: Swain County Settlement Trust Fund
  134. HB 138: Damage Jail & Prison Fire Sprinkler/Penalty
  135. HB 106: Inmate Health Care & 340B Program
  136. HB 18: Allow Absentee Ballots/Fire District Election
  137. HB 757: Pender County/Butner Property Transfers
  138. SB 535: Authorize State Park/Clarify Corps Name
  139. HB 668: Various Higher Education Changes
  140. HB 590: Amend Administrative Procedure Laws
  141. SB 444: Allow Use of Oyster Shells As Serving Dishes
  142. HB 411: Modify School Qual./Student Success Indicator
  143. SB 210: Organ & Tissue Donation/Heart Heroes
  144. SB 316: Affordable Housing
  145. SB 297: Cancer Research Advisory Panel
  146. SB 462: Modifications to NC Appraisal Board
  147. SB 508: Civil Procedure/Deponent Declaration
  148. SB 606: Prioritize Native NC Plants on Highway ROW
  149. HB 107: PED Oversight/EPP Changes
  150. HB 323: Assess Costs of Local LEO Crime Lab Analysis
  151. HB 268: Amend On-Site Wastewater Laws/Misc. TC
  152. HB 243: State Human Resources Act Amendments.-AB
  153. HB 337: Change Salvage Vehicle Transfer Requirements
  154. HB 362: 15-Point Scale For School Performance Grades
  155. HB 546: Prohibit Counterfeit/Nonfunctional Airbags
  156. HB 620: Street Database/Manual/Public Record Except
  157. SB 29: Move Over Law/Increase Penalties/Amber Lights
  158. HB 198: Human Trafficking Commission Recommendations.-AB
  159. HB 325: Opioid Epidemic Response Act
  160. SB 194: West Jefferson/Saluda Satellite Annexations
  161. SB 420: NC Servicemembers Civil Relief Act
  162. SB 218: Clarify State Recognition - Lumbee Indians
  163. SB 145: Allow Sports/Horse Race Wagering Tribal Lands
  164. SB 332: Civil Procedure/Limitations/Land Surveyors
  165. SB 343: Various Education Law Changes
  166. SB 391: Expand Youth Internship Opportunities
  167. SB 478: Modify Appointment Reporting
  168. SB 493: DVPO Abuser Treatment/Time of Expiration
  169. SB 523: Laws Clarifying & Administrative Changes
  170. SB 604: Amend NC Veterinary Practice Act
  171. SB 108: PED/Safekeeper Health Care Cost Recov. Pract
  172. HB 469: Various Family Law Changes
  173. HB 628: 2019 Banking & Mortgage Corrections & Changes
  174. HB 675: 2019 Building Code Regulatory Reform
  175. HB 50: Allow Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy for TBI/PTSD
  176. HB 922: Enhance Insurance Coverage/Educ. Buildings
  177. HB 264: GSC Technical Corrections 2019
  178. SB 532: Amends Probate/Trusts/Wills Choice of Law
  179. HB 220: Insurance Technical Changes.-AB
  180. SB 302: Update ACH Svc & Care Plan/Bd of Nursing
  181. SB 385: Clarify/Auto Dealers Regulatory Req
  182. SB 290: ABC Regulatory Reform Bill
  183. SB 9: Female Genital Mutilation/Clarify Prohibition
  184. SB 301: Regional School Modifications
  185. SB 366: 9th/10th Grade/College Transfer Pathways
  186. SB 413: Raise the Age Modifications
  187. SB 498: Facilitate Response to Disasters
  188. HB 724: Truth in Caller ID Act
  189. HB 872: Underground Utility Safety Act/Changes
  190. SB 190: Expand Special Assessments for Dam Repair
  191. HB 228: Modernize Laws Pertaining to NC Medical Board.-AB
  192. HB 961: Ensuring Authorization of Federal Funds
  193. HB 760: Expand Loss Prevention Investigations
  194. HB 391: Passenger Protection Act
  195. HB 590: Modify Continuing Ed for Real Estate Brokers
  196. SB 321: Federal Motor Carrier Safety/PRISM
  197. SB 68: Relocation of Water/Sewer Line Costs
  198. SB 584: Criminal Law Reform
  199. HB 206: Various Transportation Changes
  200. HB 217: DIT Changes.-AB
  201. SB 230: NC Military and Veteran Act of 2019
  202. SB 86: Small Business Health Care Act
  203. HB 99: Transfer ALE/Move Boxing Advisory Commission
  204. HB 597: Wildlife Resources Commission Amends
  205. HB 604: Small Business Retirement Program
  206. HB 55: Cleveland County/Sheriff Vacancies


More about Nexsen Pruet's North Carolina Public Policy Team
In addition to providing Government Affairs Services, the Nexsen Pruet Public Policy team provides attorneys and clients with a newsletter summarizing the week's activities and conveying the inner workings of the legislative process and state government in Raleigh during the legislative session. Please feel free to pass this along to your clients or other interested parties. If you would like to receive the update in your inbox, please email shernandez@nexsenpruet.com to be added to the list. If you are interested in learning more about how Nexsen Pruet can help you achieve your public policy goals and acquiring legislative representation in North Carolina or South Carolina, please reach out to Sandy Sands at ssands@nexsenpruet.com or Ross Barnhardt at rbarnhardt@nexsenpruet.com.

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