plant with roots
Aug 7, 2017

NCGA Week in Review

The legislature convened for a one-day session last Thursday, where they considered several conference reports, two local bills, and one bill making appointments to several boards and commissions. Then on Friday, lawmakers heard from members of the public during a House and Senate joint redistricting committee hearing. Lawmakers will be back in town this Thursday for another joint redistricting meeting.

Legislators Return to Raleigh

Last Thursday, legislators returned to Raleigh to consider several items of unfinished business from the 2017 regular session. During the one-day August 3 session, lawmakers did not consider any of the four bills that the Governor vetoed in July, but they did vote on several bills that were in conference committees at the end of session.

The Governor has 10 days to sign or veto the four bills that emerged from conference committees and were subsequently approved by both chambers.

On the Governor’s Desk

A bill originally titled “Amend Environmental Laws 3” emerged out of a conference committee as HB 770: Various Clarifying Changes. The new HB 770:

  • Makes changes to ensure that the state complies with the federal Every Student Succeeds Act.
  • Clarifies single-stream funding for LME/MCOs.
  • Modifies the membership of the NC Medical Board.
  • Bars attorneys serving as trustees from representing noteholders or borrowers while initiating a foreclosure proceeding.

SB 16: Business Regulatory Reform Act of 2017 gained six new provisions and deleted 11 provisions included in the previous version. The new provisions include:

  • Makes changes to Department of Labor laws.
  • Codifies the Carolina Star Program.
  • Makes changes to laws governing landfills and the life-of-site permits for landfills.
  • Clarifies the definition of “commercial real estate.”
  • Exempts certain pressure vessels form the Uniform Boiler and Pressure Vessel Act.
  • Extends the expiration date for certain wastewater system improvement permits.

No policy changes were made to SB 407: Employee Misclassification/ IC Changes, other than the effective date of the legislation. SB 407 also pushes back the effective date for the reduction of days (reduces from 14 to 10 days) that an employer has to file protest of a claim against the employer from October 1, 2017 to July 1, 2018.

The final version of SB 628: Various Changes to the Revenue Laws deleted provisions relating to captive insurance company taxes and adds in several new provisions, including modifications to gross premium tax laws and allows an individual to contribute their tax refund for early detection of breast and cervical cancer at the Cancer Prevention and Control Branch within the Department of Health and Human Services.

Awaiting Final Approval

HB 162: Amend Administrative Procedure Laws came out of conference committee and was approved by the Senate, but the House did not vote on it before going home. If passed, HB 162 would disallow any new regulations that would cost at least $100 million over five years and would require any rules with a projected $10 million aggregate financial impact during any five year period to be reviewed by the General Assembly. HB 162 is still eligible to be considered by the House during the August 18 session.

Redistricting process moves forward, next session scheduled for August 18

During the August 6 one-day session, House and Senate leadership announced the schedule that the legislature plans to follow in order to abide by the court’s ruling that the legislative districts ruled unconstitutional must be redrawn by September 1, 2017.

The session originally scheduled for September 6 has been moved up to August 18. During that session, which will likely last at least a week, the legislature will be able to consider veto overrides, bills in conference committees, constitutional amendments, and bills dealing with election law, including the new legislative maps.

Continuing with the redistricting process, last Friday the House and Senate redistricting committees jointly met to review the county grouping process for the new maps, and to hear from the members of the public on what criteria should be considered when creating the new maps.

Click here to review the documents from the meeting.

Rep. David Lewis (R-Harnett), chairman of the House Select Committee on Redistricting, announced that the redistricting committees would meet jointly again on August 10 to adopt the redistricting criteria. At that point, the map drawers will use that criteria to create maps. Once the maps are completed, they will be released to the public for review, and lawmakers plan to hold public hearings across the state on August 22.

Rep. Lewis stated that they hope to be able to hold floor votes on the maps on August 24. The maps are not subject to approval by the Governor, so they will become law immediately after they are approved by the House and Senate.