Legislative Update from Rep. Iler — June 5, 2023

Last week at the North Carolina General Assembly the Senate and the House of Representatives committees were considering many bills from the other chamber, and several important bills came up for a vote. The sports wagering bill, the state job non-discrimination bill, a bill on boards and commissions, and local bills were on the floor of one chamber or the other.  Budget negotiations are continuing.

            House Bill 347 – Sports Wagering/Horse Racing Wagering was voted out of the Senate late in the week and will be sent back to the House, since it was changed in the Senate.  The Senate added horse racing, which was the major difference.  It passed the Senate 37 – 11. It had originally passed the House 64 – 45, but since college and amateur sports were included, it did not get my vote.  We will see it again possibly this week in the House.

            Senate Bill 346 – Nondiscrimination & Dignity in State Work prevents the questioning of job candidates’ political or social views as a condition of hiring for a state job.  This means compelled speech and views, not voluntary speech, and views.  This applies to non-exempt state positions, as well as the university and community college positions. It was voted out of the House by a party line vote of 72 – 46 and was sent back to the Senate for their concurrence, as it was amended in the House.

            Senate Bill 512 – Greater Accountability for Boards/Commissions increases accountability by changing the appointment structure of some of the boards and commissions.  In some cases, it gives the General Assembly more weight in the appointments rather than one person, the Governor.  It passed on a party line vote in the House and Senate.  The House vote was 72 – 46, and then it went back to the Senate, as it was changed in the House.

            Several local bills passed the House last week, but none appeared to impact Brunswick County. One did impact nearby Pender County.

            This week our budget negotiations between the House and Senate get down to the trenches as each of the budget areas will meet daily until the budget is finalized and passed up to the top leadership in both chambers.  I will be meeting with our Senate counterparts on the Transportation budget much of the week. 

            Back in the county on Friday I met with several of our citizens, as well as attended the Lincoln-Reagan-Douglass dinner hosted by the county Republican party at the St. James Community Center.  State leaders were in the county for this event, including U.S. Congressman Rouzer, N.C. House Speaker Tim Moore, and N.C. Senate President Pro Tem Phil Berger.  Several statewide and county candidates for 2024 elections were also introduced.