Dec 9, 2016
NCGA Week in Review: New Laws Go Into Effect
Twelve laws that passed during the 2015-16 session of the General Assembly went into effect on December 1, and another fifteen will go into effect on the first of the year.
Special Session on Hurricane Matthew
Last Friday Governor Pat McCrory called the legislature to convene for their third special session of 2016. Next Tuesday the legislature will meet to authorize funding and other disaster relief measures for parts of the state damaged by Hurricane Matthew and potentially for areas in the western region of the state impacted by wildfires.
Interim Committee Meetings
Committee on Regulatory and Rate Issues in Insurance
The Legislative Research Committee on Regulatory and Rate Issues in Insurance met on Monday where they discussed insurance issues pertaining to challenge courses such as zip lines and other aerial courses.
Joint Legislative Administrative Procedure Oversight Committee
The Joint Legislative Administrative Procedure Oversight Committee met on Tuesday to discuss legislative requests from the Office of Administrative Hearings including the Rules Review Commission, and the Codifier of Rules. The committee has directed staff to draft proposed legislation on these requests, which include allowing the Codifier of Rules to make certain corrections to rules and changing the process for periodic rules reviews. The draft bills will be reviewed at the committee’s final meeting for the interim, which has not yet been scheduled.
Committee on Homelessness, Foster Care and Dependency
The Committee on Homelessness, Foster Care and Dependency met on Tuesday where they discussed the challenges that foster kids face when aging out of care and initiatives the state has taken to reduce those challenges. The committee also discussed the challenges of recruiting and licensing families as foster parents, particularly homes for therapeutic foster care. The committee will hold one more meeting during the interim where they will discuss their final report- the meeting has not yet been scheduled.
Committee on Savings Reserve Account
Yesterday, the Committee on Savings Reserve Account met to discuss the approaches that the state may consider using to transfer tax revenues into the state’s rainy day fund. The committee will be reviewing draft legislation on this matter at their next meeting, which is scheduled for next Thursday.
Legislation Effective December 1
Last Thursday, twelve laws from the 2015-16 session of the General Assembly went into effect:
HB 253: Justice Reinvestment Act Changes: Amends provisions of the Justice Reinvestment Act including authorizing videoconfrencing of certain hearings and revisions to probation statutes.
HB 283: Prevent Squatting In Foreclosed Real Property: Increases the criminal penalty for first degree trespassing to a Class I felony under certain circumstances; first degree trespassing is otherwise a Class 2 misdemeanor.
HB 287: Amend Insurance Laws: Makes numerous changes to insurance laws. The following provisions went into effect on the first of this month:
- Makes an insurance fiduciary who violates their fiduciary duty and causes the cancellation or non-renewal of a group health or life insurance plan guilty of a Class F or Class H felony, dependent on the amount of the losses suffered.
- Amends law pertaining to rate evasion fraud.
- Repeals a statute concerning the effect of a restitution order on a third party beneficiary.
Other portions of the legislation will not go into effect until October 1, 2017.
HB 292: Beach Bingo Licenses: Requires Beach Bingo operations to obtain a license through the State Bureau of Investigations.
HB 424: Prohibit Unlawful Custody Transfer of Child: Prohibits parents from unlawfully transferring custody of their children and other individuals from accepting unlawful custody of a child and establishes criminal penalties for these offenses.
HB 817: Enact Uniform Law on Adult Guardianship: Establishes statewide procedures to be followed when transferring the guardianship of an incapacitated adult across state lines.
HB 958: Felony Death Impaired Boating/ Sheyenne’s Law: Increases the criminal penalty for impaired boating which results in death or serious injury.
HB 959: DOT Proposed Legislative Changes: Makes various amendments to state transportation laws, including the following provisions that went into effect on 12/1:
- Requires bicyclists to have a red rear light, or wear a reflective vest when riding at night.
- Repeals a requirement requiring vehicle owners to sign their registration card.
- Amends the definition for a moped.
HB 992: Amend Industrial Hemp Program: Modifies the Industrial Hemp Research Program, which was established by state law in 2015. The legislation established criminal and civil penalties for violating the rules and purposes of the research program.
HB 1030: 2016 Appropriations Act: A provision of the state budget went into effect this month, expanding the number of District Court Judges in District 19A, Cabarrus County, and 27B, Cleveland and Lincoln Counties.
SB 508: Amend Bail Bond/ Collection Agency/ Criminal Mediation Laws: Makes various amendments to the bail bond, collection agency, and criminal mediation laws, including the following provisions that went into effect on December 1:
- Amends the procedure for determining the conditions for pretrial release.
- Provides that a professional bail bondsman may not issue a bond if they have not yet paid full bail to a county jail for another forfeited bond.
The bill was signed by the Governor on July 22, 2016.
SB 770: NC Farm Act of 2016: The Governor signed this bill, which makes numerous changes to farming and agriculture laws, into law on July 26. A provision of the bill which provides the Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services with enforcement authority for the program of governing improperly made, tagged or sanitized bedding went into effect on December 1, 2016.
Legislation Effective January 1
On the first of the year, fifteen laws from the 2015-16 session of the General Assembly will go into effect:
HB 97: 2015 Appropriations Act: Several provisions of the 2015 budget will go into effect on the first of the year:
- Allows foster children to stay in or return to foster care after aging out at 18 years until they are 21.
- Revises franchise or privilege taxes on domestic and foreign corporations.
HB 259: General Government Technical Corrections: Includes numerous revisions to the 2015 budget, including a provision which revises how the net worth of certain corporations are taxed.
HB 262: Surplus Lines Amendment: Makes several changes to the Surplus Lines Act. Surplus lines insure high-risk individuals who typically cannot get coverage.
HB 288: Insurance Technical Changes: Revises the state’s insurance laws to maintain accreditation with the National Association of Insurance Commissioners, including a provision which revises risk-based capital requirements for life insurers.
HB 805: Measurability Assessments/ Budget Technical Corrections: Makes technical corrections to the 2016 budget.
HB 842: Medicaid Waiver Protections/ Military Families: Includes a provision which will allow dependents of members of the Armed Forces to maintain Medicaid waiver status if the service member is assigned outside of the state so long as they intend to return to NC.
HB 959: DOT Proposed Legislative Changes: Makes various amendments to state transportation laws, including a provision which makes changes to moped insurance laws.
HB 1011: Retirement Technical Corrections Act of 2016: Makes technical corrections to the state’s retirement plan.
HB 1030: 2016 Appropriations Act: The following provisions on the 2016 budget will go into effect on the first of the year:
- The establishment of Medicaid eligibility decision processing timeliness standards.
- Changes to the law concerning Job Development Investment Grant projects that occur in multiple locations.
- Various sales tax changes.
SB 326: Local Gov’ts/ Buildings/ Structures/ Inspections: Revises the conditions under which counties and cities must inspect buildings or structures.
SB 513: North Carolina Farm Act of 2015: Makes various changes to agriculture and farm law including establishing a law to require that meteorological towers are marked and registered with the Department of Transportation.
SB 600: Appraiser Compensation/ Judge Perform Marriage: This bill requires appraisal management companies to compensate appraisers in compliance with federal law.
SB 865: State Health Plan/ Administrative Changes/ Local Governments: Makes administrative changes to the State Health Plan. The participation requirements will be amended effective on January 1 to add an additional requirement regarding the premium rates for eligible employees and their dependents.