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NC Legislative Update: September 13, 2019

September 13, 2019

Legislators returned to Raleigh for what turned into a contentious week with new legislative districts in the works, and an unexpected budget veto override vote in the House that caught Democrats off guard and feeling misled.

Budget Veto Override

In what Democrats are calling an ambush, the House voted 55 to 15 to override Governor Cooper’s veto of the budget. The vote took place at an 8:30 a.m. session on Tuesday, with 40 Democrats absent, believing that no votes would be taken at that time. House Minority Leader Darren Jackson held a press conference shortly after the vote, criticizing the Republicans for using a dishonest move to get their way. He claimed that Rules Chairman, Representative David Lewis, had told him the day before that no votes would be taken at the 8:30 a.m. session, and so he informed his caucus that they did not need to attend. Representative Lewis claims that Representative Jackson only asked about two bills added to the calendar and wanted time to caucus before votes on those two bills. Speaker Moore said in a press conference later that day that the override was properly noticed and that he had told the members numerous times that he would call the vote on the override if he ever had the numbers. The House also overrode Governor Cooper’s veto of a controversial mini budget bill, House Bill 555, which allocates funds for Medicaid Transformation, the State’s movement to capitated Medicaid contracts. The Senate still has to override these bills for them to become law.

Governor Cooper criticized the move as deceptive and called it a new low. The Governor hopes that the Senate Democrats will stand firm on the veto, however, Republicans in the Senate only need to flip one Democrat to override. This move has led to both sides criticizing the other, and trust has been destroyed between the two parties. Some have compared the move to a controversial 2005 vote for the NC Education Lottery when several members were absent, and that move is still brought up today, nearly 15 years later.  Protesters calling for Speaker Moore’s resignation were present at the Legislative Building the day after the vote, chanting “shame” and holding signs that read “Shame on Speaker Moore.”

Senate President Pro Tem Phil Berger has indicated that the Senate will not immediately take up the override, and that they will remain solely focused on redistricting and complying with the court’s order. 

WRAL: https://www.wral.com/unprecedented-not-really-but-house-s-budget-veto-override-almost-defies-comparison/18627732/

WRAL: https://www.wral.com/how-dare-you-do-this-mr-speaker-in-surprise-move-house-overrides-budget-veto/18626626/

Congressional Special Elections

North Carolina held special elections in the Third Congressional District and the Ninth Congressional District this Tuesday. State Representative Greg Murphy won in the Third with 61.74% of the vote, and State Senator Dan Bishop won in the Ninth by a narrow margin, receiving 50.74% of the votes. The special election in the Third was ordered after longtime Congressman Walter Jones passed away. The Ninth District election was the result of an election fraud investigation by the Board of Elections, which ultimately ordered a new election after concluding that the absentee ballot fraud was widespread enough to affect the election outcome. Republican Mark Harris, who originally won the Ninth District election and employed the political operative at the center of the investigation, chose not to run in the special election, citing health concerns. The special elections gained national attention as both political parties looked to the elections to give them insight into trends for the 2020 elections. President Trump and Vice President Pence even made stops in North Carolina to help Bishop and Murphy campaign in the days leading up to the election.

WRAL: https://www.wral.com/gop-holds-two-us-house-seats-in-special-elections/18623914/ 

Redistricting Process

The House and Senate both began working though the redistricting process this week after a three judge panel recently ruled that the current legislative maps are unconstitutional. The court found that the maps were created with partisan intent and discriminated against Democrats by forcing them into districts where they are not allowed to elect the candidate of their choice. The Superior Court Judges have given the General Assembly until September 18 to redraw the maps, and specified that the old districts cannot be used as a starting point. Both chambers are using maps created by Jowei Chen as an expert witness for the plaintiffs in the case that led to the maps being thrown out. Chen created 1,000 maps, but the legislature is picking the top contenders to be considered as a starting point. The Senate narrowed their selection down to five maps, and, in a legislative first, used the State Education Lottery machine to randomly section one out of the five. Both chambers are expected to vote on their maps next week after a joint public hearing at noon on Monday. Once approved, the maps will be reviewed by the same three judge panel that invalidated the old maps.

Ruling: https://www.documentcloud.org/documents/6380175-18-CVS-14001-Final-Judgment.html#document/p7/a522617

WRAL: https://www.wral.com/new-ncga-maps-to-court-next-week/18633279/

Senate Redistricting and Elections Committee Documents:

https://www.ncleg.gov/Committees/CommitteeInfo/SenateStanding/154#Documents

House Redistricting Committee Documents: https://www.ncleg.gov/Committees/CommitteeInfo/HouseStanding/182#Documents

Former NC Supreme Court Justice I. Beverly Lake Jr. Passes Away

Former North Carolina Supreme Court Chief Justice I. Beverly Lake Jr. died Thursday, September 12, 2019. Lake served on the NC Supreme Court for 12 years, and led the Court from 2001 to 2006, and had previously served as a state senator. During his time on the bench, Justice Lake gained the reputation as a "law-and-order conservative.” His long career of public service includes many achievements, however, most notably are the contributions he made to criminal justice reform. In 2002, while serving as Chief Justice, he began the effort that would create the North Carolina Innocence Inquiry Commission in 2006, the first of its kind in the nation. The Commission consists of a superior court judge, a prosecuting attorney, a defense attorney, a victim advocate, a member of the public, a sheriff, and two discretionary members, and works to review post-conviction claims of innocence in North Carolina. Justice Lake joined Nexsen Pruet's Raleigh office in 2011. 

News & Observer: https://www.newsobserver.com/news/politics-government/article235018427.html

2019 Session Laws

The following 218 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
  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


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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