NC Legislative Update
By Cady Thomas
NC General Assembly Schedule
The NCGA had light schedules the last 4 weeks with very few committee meetings and floor votes. Once the budget negotiations are complete we expect them to quickly pass the budget, redistricting maps, and any remaining policy bills agreed to by the Speaker and Senate President.
Bills and Legislation
Budget negotiations have slowed between the NCGA leaders and Governor Cooper. The areas still being discussed appear to be teacher and state employee raises, medicaid expansion, and the level of tax cuts. Another complicating factor is a hearing this week on a court order requiring the NCGA to increase school funding. This hearing could require the NCGA to revise their budget again this year.
Governor Cooper signed House Bill 951 last week in a rare bill signing ceremony. As previously reported, the bill will reduce greenhouse gas emissions from power plants by 2030 as well as allow Duke Energy to seek rate increases for two- to three-year periods instead of the current request each year. The legislation does cap those increases to four from the approved rate each year.
Numbers as of October 15:
1,446,881 total cases
2,074 currently hospitalized
6.1% percentage of positive tests each day
65% of adult population fully vaccinated
The NC Department of Labor (NCDOL) is considering setting COVID-19 workplace standards but will wait to hear the standards set by the U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA). The OSHA standards will likely require private companies with 100+ employees to require proof of vaccination or submit to weekly testing.
The NCDOL received a petition from a coalition asking they mandate standards for farm workers and those in meat processing plants. These standards would include providing transportation for workers to testing sites, paid time off for testing time, and additional housing to name a few.
Labor Commissioner Josh Dobson denied a similar request earlier this year.
Other Important Items
US Senate Race
Fundraising reports from the third quarter were submitted September 30 and show Former State Supreme Court Chief Justice Cheri Beasley as the largest fundraiser with more than $1.5 million raised. Beasley is running in the democratic primary with her top opponent, State Senator Jeff Jackson, raising just over $900,000. Former State Senator Erica Smith who is running a second time raised just $129,000.
In the republican primary, Congressman Ted Budd and former Governor Pat McCrory each raised just over $1 million dollars. Former Congressman Mark Walker’s campaign brought in $122,000 this quarter.