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NC Legislative Update: November 15, 2019

November 15, 2019

The House and Senate both returned to Raleigh this week for a three-day session, pursuant to the adjournment resolution passed last month. The session was restricted to only addressing redistricting matters, appointments, nominations, conference reports, and another adjournment resolution. Congressional redistricting was the main focus of the session, while legislators also passed bills to help alleviate cash flow shortages at the Department of Transportation, and they passed another round of disaster relief to deal with hurricane damage related to storms over the last several years.

Lawmakers concluded business for the year on Friday, November 15, and will not return to session until January 14, 2020. The January session’s rules specify that lawmakers can address veto overrides, bills addressing access to health care, budget modifications, among other items.


Congressional Redistricting

Last month, a three judge panel entered a ruling indicating that the state needs to redraw its congressional maps based on a similar ruling over a partisan gerrymandering of the state legislative districts. The judges’ order granted an injunction to halt the 2020 primaries as a result of the case. The same three judge panel also approved the legislature’s recent redraw of the state legislative maps.

When redrawing the map, lawmakers used the same open committee process used when they redrew legislative districts early this year, and also had a public hearing to accept public comments. Per court order, legislators excluded using political data when drawing the map. The new map leans to elect five Democrats and eight Republicans, compared to the current map that has a three Democrats to ten Republicans breakdown.

While legislators did take incumbency into account and no congressional members were double bunked, the maps may mean that two sitting congressmen will face unfavorable odds in the 2020 election.

Congressman Mark Walker currently represents the 6th District, which includes part of Guilford County and several largely rural surrounding counties. Under the new map, the 6th District will now consist of all of Guilford County and part of Forsyth County, which includes Winston-Salem, and the district leans Democratic.

Congressman George Holding represents the 2nd District, which leans Republican and consists of parts of Wake and Johnston Counties, as well as a few surrounding counties. Holding does not actually live in his current district. The new 2nd District will only consist of a portion of Wake County, and will lean Democratic.

The map will have to be approved by the three judge panel that struck down the current map before they can go into effect for the 2020 election. The judges have reserved the right to move the candidate filing period if they find it necessary.

WRAL: https://www.wral.com/congressional-redistricting-proposal-threatens-2-nc-incumbents/18765607/

New Congressional Map: https://webservices.ncleg.net/ViewBillDocument/2019/6956/0/HB%201029,%203rd%20Edition%20-%2019x36%20Map


Governor Vetoes Teacher Pay Raise Bill

Governor Cooper vetoed Senate Bill 354 last week, which would have given teachers the 3.9% over two years raise that they would have received under the vetoed budget, plus an additional raise to make the increase 4.4% over two years if the budget veto override is successful. Democrats called this a political ploy, and no Senate Democrats voted for the bill and only three Democrats voted for the bill in the House. In his veto message, Governor Cooper claimed that the bill shortchanged teachers and school employees, despite the State having the revenue to do more.

WCNC: https://www.wcnc.com/article/money/governor-cooper-vetoes-teacher-pay-bills-seeks-higher-raises/275-7cb31091-f947-4762-bbff-167722a8c5b1 

WRAL: https://www.wral.com/republicans-pitch-new-teacher-raises-but-with-a-catch-in-budget-fight/18733666/


NC DOT Cash Flow Bill

The legislature passed the DOT Cash and Accountability Act this week, which addresses the current cash flow shortage at the Department of Transportation (DOT) that has threatened to derail hundreds of road projects and jeopardize thousands of jobs. DOT cited increased costs due to hurricane-related road repairs and slow federal reimbursements for road damage costs. In an average year, DOT spends around $65 million on storm damage road repair, however, this year they have spent nearly $300 million. DOT has also spent $311 million defending the controversial Map Act, which prevents landowners from developing property in areas where future highway projects are planned. The legislature has repealed the Map Act.

The bill forgives a $90 million loan from the General Fund and allows the Department to increase their $300 million Build NC bond to $400 million. The bill also includes a $100 million transfer from the General Fund to the Department, with $36 million of that going towards disaster relief. The bill establishes the Transportation Emergency Reserve to be used for future declared disasters and includes an initial $64 million appropriation, with the goal of the Department building the fund up to a $125 million balance.

In addition to giving DOT access to additional money, the bill directs the State Auditor to conduct a performance audit of the Department, and adds additional reporting requirements, including a weekly cash watch report.

The bill drew some criticism from Democrats, who support additional funding for the Department, but disagreed with a provision specifying that DOT pay only simple interest and not compounding interest as just compensation.

The bill is now on the Governor’s desk.

WRAL: https://www.wral.com/bill-gives-dot-a-cash-infusion-lots-of-new-reporting-requirements/18766674/ 


Disaster Relief Bill

The legislature approved a nearly $230 million disaster relief package to help assist with the recovery efforts from Hurricanes Mathew, Florence, and Dorian. Around $121.5 million of the bill is used for various matching requirements for drawing down federal funds. The bill also contains funds to prepare for future storms with flood mapping and water level monitors. $15 million is appropriated to assist local governments with cash flow needs in the form of grants and loans. The Golden L.E.A.F. Foundation also receives $15 million under the bill to be used to assist local governments and non-profit organizations in their recovery efforts. The bill contains various appropriations to government entities that sustained damage during the storms.

Outside of monetary relief, the bill allows the state more flexibility in moving money around from previous disaster relief bills that specified for what storm the money could be used for. The Community College System is allowed to use money from last year to cover budget shortfalls due to enrollment declines related to the storms. The bill also removes a provision that barred individuals who had previously received federal flood insurance money from participating in a pilot program that helps to assist individuals in paying their flood insurance premiums.

Outside of disaster relief, lawmakers also tacked on a few unrelated items, including budget technical adjustments, funding for the recently enacted Rural Hospital Stabilization Fund, and a provision that drew criticism from the Governor that requires all cash gifts or donations to the state or to be used by the state to be deposited in the State Treasury. Some have viewed the unrelated provisions as intended to bait the Governor into vetoing the popular bill.

WRAL: https://www.wral.com/disaster-funding-coming-as-ocracoke-residents-call-for-help/18764219/


USDA Releases New Rules on Hemp Production

The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) recently took another step towards expanding the industrial hemp market in the United States by releasing their interim final rules labeled Establishment of a Domestic Hemp Production Program. USDA’s rules were posted to the Federal Register on October 31, 2019, and the rules will have a 60 day comment period for groups and individuals to give the Department feedback. The rules largely contain the nuts and bolts of how the Department will implement the 2018 Federal Farm Bill, which reformed the nation’s hemp laws by relaxing the requirements to obtain a license to grow hemp, and removed legally grown hemp and hemp products below .3% THC from the Controlled Substance Act (CSA). Hemp above .3% THC is still considered a scheduled I substance.

Previously, under the 2014 Federal Farm Bill, states were allowed to establish pilot hemp programs that focus on hemp research rather than being suitable for large scale industrial use. North Carolina passed legislation in 2015 and follow-up legislation in 2016 to establish the state’s pilot program, and that program is currently in place, run by the North Carolina Industrial Hemp Commission.

Nexsen Pruet: https://www.nexsenpruet.com/insights/usda-releases-new-rules-on-hemp-production


2019 Session Laws

The following 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 City/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
  207. HB 554: Funeral Practice Licensure Tech. Corrections
  208. HB 609: Salary Increases/Adult Correctional Employees
  209. HB 226: Pay Increases/State Employees
  210. HB 126: Pay Increases/State Highway Patrol
  211. HB 777: Pay Increases/SBI & ALE
  212. SB 621: Testing Reduction Act of 2019
  213. HB 449: Handicapped & Special Registration Plates
  214. SB 600: Vets Children/Short-Term Workforce Training
  215. SB 353: Amend Cartway Path/Septic Tank Laws
  216. SB 682: Implement Crime Victim Rights Amendment
  217. SB 574: Study Establish Gaming Comm/Sports Betting
  218. SB 270: Durham Deannexation
  219. SB 692: 2019 Senate Consensus Nonpartisan Map
  220. HB 1020: 2019 House Remedial Map
  221. HB 29: Standing Up for Rape Victims Act of 2019
  222. HB 75: School Safety Funds, Programs, and Reports
  223. SB 118: Prison Safety/TANF State Plan/Clarifications
  224. SB 429: Disaster Recovery - 2019 Budget Provisions
  225. SB 458: PTS Day/Cardiac Task Force/Titus's Law/Data
  226. SB 691: Emergency Operating Funds for Utilities
  227. HB 211: Various DMV Changes
  228. HB 283: Conner’s Law
  229. HB 1001: Raise the Age Funding
  230. HB 387: Growing G.R.E.A.T.
  231. HB 100: DOT Budget for 2019-2021 Biennium
  232. SB 572: University System Risk Management Provisions
  233. SB 690: Modifications to 2019 Appointments Bill
  234. HB 181: Yanceyville/Greensboro/McDowell Cty Bd Ed.
  235. SB 61: Community Colleges Budget/2019-2021 Biennium
  236. SB 579: Prison Reform Act of 2019
  237. HB 399: Extend Tax Credits/Other Finance Changes
  238. SB 312: Relief to Ocracoke School/Hurricane Dorian



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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