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NC Legislative Update: July 12, 2019

July 12, 2019

Lawmakers continued to move legislation this week, however the House has yet to attempt to override Governor Cooper’s veto of the budget. House Speaker Tim Moore said that they are waiting until the time is right, and wants everyone to have time to consider their position before voting on the override. House Republicans are trying to convince a handful of Democrats to break ranks and vote with them on the override, and cite increased funding in specific legislators’ districts as reasons for them to support the override. Various locations for the Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) have even been shopped around. The House has not given a date for when the override vote will take place.

The Senate stayed in town until Tuesday, while they waited for the House to attempt to override the budget veto. Senate leadership announced that they will return to Raleigh next week for session on Monday and Tuesday, and then will return the following Monday and Tuesday, with plans to leave town after. The Senate has also indicated that they could go home for the year with only passing a few spending provisions and leaving last year’s budget in place.

Temporary Spending Bill

The House passed a stopgap funding bill this week to fill in a few areas in the state budget while the legislature figures out its next step in light of the budget veto. Since a new budget has not been enacted by the July first deadline, last year’s budget remains in place with recurring dollars continuing, however, no non-recurring money can be spent. House Bill 111 appropriates money for school enrolment, higher education tuition, NC FAST, behavioral health, and disaster relief. Legislators are pushing the bill to make sure that federal matching dollars are not jeopardized, and projects that are underway are not halted. The bill passed the House unanimously and Senate leadership has indicated their support for a stopgap bill.

House Medicaid Expansion Proposal

Healthcare leaders in the House advanced their version of Medicaid expansion this week with the NC Health Care for Working Families Act. The bill seeks to provide healthcare insurance to nearly 300,000 of the 1,083,000 uninsured citizens in the State. To be eligible for coverage under the bill, individuals must be between 19 and 64 years old, have an income that does not exceed 133% of the federal poverty level, and be ineligible for Medicare or Medicaid. Program enrollees will be required to pay 2% of their income in the form of a monthly premium, as well as participate in wellness and preventative care activities. The program is funded with federal dollars, gross premiums tax revenue, and additional hospital assessments. The bill is meant to be a compromise on the traditional Medicaid expansion plan that Governor Cooper and legislative Democrats have been pushing. The bill passed through the committee process quickly, but was then pulled from the floor calendar. Speaker Moore indicated that the bill will only receive a floor vote once they receive a commitment from Democrats to vote to override Governor Cooper’s budget veto. This drew criticism as some saw this as holding the bill hostage. Governor Cooper was quick to point out that the bill only passing the House does not mean that Medicaid expansion happens. Senate leadership has already indicated that they will not pass the bill if it makes it out of the House.

Hemp Controversy

The House Finance Committee heard the 2019 NC Farm Act this week, but, due to the bill’s controversial hemp section, the committee adjourned without taking a vote. Federal law changes last year have opened the door for states to legalize hemp production and hemp derived products. Senator Brent Jackson, the bill sponsor, is advocating for allowing smokable hemp products. However, Representative Jimmy Dixon, the House agriculture leader, firmly opposes allowing smokable hemp, while supporting its other uses. Advocates for smokable hemp say that it is a vital revenue stream for hemp growers and that farmers will struggle to make the industry profitable without it. Opponents of smokable hemp call it a backdoor path to marijuana legalization and say that it will make the law hard to enforce. Prosecutors and law enforcement groups worry that since hemp looks and smells similar to marijuana, it will prevent them from having probable cause when enforcing other laws. They claim that the smell of marijuana is a common way to obtain probable cause, and this bill will take that away.

The House Finance Committee had been expected to take a vote on the bill, but after a heated exchange of words between members, Chairman Szoka chose to adjourn the meeting. While the Farm Act largely deals with hemp regulations, it also includes provisions relating to a wide variety of issues, ranging from utility easements, animal waste odor rules, sweet potato promotion, present use tax valuation, swine permits, and public records disclosure.

WRALhttps://www.wral.com/hemp-marijuana-fight-may-doom-nc-farm-act/18504073/

2019 Session Laws

The following 120 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


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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