The big news last week revolved around the possible override of the Governor’s veto of House Bill 2 – Protect Health Care Freedom, the hearing in the House Education Committee on Senate Bill 8 – No Cap on Charter Schools, and the impending passage in the Senate of Senate Bill 110 – Permit Terminal Groins.

House Bill 2 came up in the House for the override vote on Wednesday. It failed on a perfect party line vote 68 to 51.  An override requires three-fifths or 72 votes, and even with all Republicans voting “aye”, it was 4 votes short.  However, on Thursday there was a motion to reconsider the bill and that motion passed.  The Speaker then sent it to a committee, where the bill could be brought back to the floor at any time.

Senate Bill 8 was heard in the House Education committee on Tuesday for discussion only.  It will be voted on this week.  Brunswick School Board Chair Shirley Babson and member John Thompson traveled to Raleigh to sit in on the discussions.  Mrs. Babson spoke briefly to the committee on behalf of keeping the school-specific funds with the schools that raised them, and not having to share them with other schools, including charters.  I also asked a question about this during the discussions.  It was a real pleasure to have these folks from back home to visit.  I believe that many of these concerns will be taken care of this week by amending the bill in committee.  There are 20 or 30 amendments to be considered prior to the passage of the charter school bill.

Senate Bill 110 – Permit Terminal Groins passed the Senate Thursday on second reading by a vote of 35 to 13, and is on the calendar for a final vote this Monday.  By press time it should be in the House for consideration.  This legislation contains no state funds and has very stringent rules for applicants to build a groin at an inlet.

Two of our local bills passed the House this week.

House Bill 140 – Oak Island/Recall Officials passed 111 to 4 on Tuesday and was sent over to the Senate. This bill would allow a referendum on the November ballot to decide if Oak Island wants a recall, which would involve a petition of 25% of the registered voters and a majority recall vote.

House Bill 68 – Tax Certification/Add Counties passed Thursday on a voice vote.  This legislation added Brunswick County to a list of 69 other counties where the County Commission can require the Register of Deeds to verify with the Tax Director that no county taxes are owed on a property before the deed is registered.  Prior to the vote on the House floor, three other Representatives requested that their counties be added. So, Alamance, Buncombe, and Yancey counties were included in the legislation.

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