Last week at the North Carolina General Assembly we had a record number of bills to handle in committees and in House and Senate floor votes. The “Crossover” deadline was upon us. We had to get all bills that we wanted to go to the Senate and voted into law through the process in the House by midnight Thursday, the 13th. Only bills dealing with topics like taxes, finance, or annexation would be exempt.
Among the almost 200 bills voted out of the House last week were many that our citizens have been urging us to pass. These include fully reopening businesses, condemning rioting, banning vaccine mandates, and ensuring nondiscrimination in schools, among others. Some of them had bipartisan support, others not.
House Bill 211 – Reopen Bars and Restaurants simply says these businesses can reopen fully with certain cleanliness and congestion rules, which most of them were doing prior to Covid anyway. House Bill 805 – Prevent Rioting & Civil Disorder increases penalties for rioting and property destruction, injury or death, assaulting law officers, and stronger pretrial conditions for accused rioters.
House Bill 572 – No Vaccine Mandate by Executive Order, Rule or Agency basically says that the state cannot require one to get a vaccination by any action. House Bill 812 – Clarify Remote Public Meetings During Emergencies helps public bodies hold remote meetings easier by providing sufficient notice.
House Bill 324 – Ensuring Dignity & Nondiscrimination/Schools makes it clear that all students are equal and valuable, regardless of race, gender, or other factors, and cannot be taught otherwise. Another school bill, House Bill 729 – Charter Schools Omnibus, says charter schools may provide remote instruction and that counties have the option to provide capital funding to charter schools, which are, of course, also public schools.
Two other bills of interest are as follows: House Bill 47 – Elected Officials Concealed Carry would allow elected officials to carry a concealed weapon in the performance of their duties, if they have a valid Concealed Carry Permit. House Bill 489 – 2021 Building Code & Dev. Reg. Reform requires certain development changes. Some of them are: requiring criminal background checks on General Contractor applicants, rules on continuing education, erosion control, and sight lines at intersections, for example.
For those whose local newspaper did not print my article last week, many significant bills were passed by the House the prior week, May 3 – 7. They included those on preventing abortion based on certain tests, support of law enforcement, clarifying pistol purchase requirements, urging Congress to keep nine justices on the U.S. Supreme Court, and transportation issues, among others.
These bills passed the House and moved to the Senate for their approval. I always encourage those wanting more information to read the bills at www.ncleg.gov and put in the bill number.