NC Legislative Update
By Cady Thomas
Last Week = Full of Activity!
The House officially secured a super majority as Rep. Tricia Cotham switched parties and is now a Republican.
The NC House passed their budget. H 259 was supported by 9 Democrats. The bill moves to the Senate who is expected to unveil their proposal by the end of April or early May.
The Senate bill filing deadline passed yesterday at 4pm. This week Senators filed 283 bills, bringing the total to 745.
Senate President Pro Tempore Berger introduced S 651 to reduce the personal income tax. This is notable because he rarely puts his name on legislation.
Appointment Power – S 512 was approved by the Senate and made drastic changes to 9 state boards and commissions. The Democrats challenged the Constitutionality of the legislation during the debate.
Both the House and Senate introduced controversial legislation:
Several bills were introduced to ban transgender students from playing on a team that does not align with their sex at birth.
S 560 was introduced and would bar doctors from conducting gender transition procedures on minors in most circumstances.
This Week = Boring
The NCGA was on Spring Break and is returning April 18th for voting sessions.
Bills and Legislation
Bill Filing Deadlines
House filing deadlines are April 18 for bills without tax changes or appropriations and April 25 for those that do.
Crossover is May 4th – this is the date by which a bill must pass its body of origin unless it contains tax changes or appropriations.
Numbers as of April 12, 2023:
3,451,972 total cases
323 people – 7 day average of those hospitalized (Continues to fall)
74% of adult population fully vaccinated, 63% of total population fully vaccinated
The NC State Auditor’s latest report found the North Carolina Pandemic Recovery Office “did not adequately monitor $159.9 million in federal funds used for expenditures incurred due to the COVID-19 pandemic” when applying those funds to schools. The NC Department of Public Instruction disputes most of the findings. One of those findings was that the NC Pandemic Recovery Office (PRO) did not monitor or review recipients and their use of the funds. PRO responded that a lack of employees prevented them from completing these tasks.
Federal Emergency Ending
As of May 11, the federal government will no longer consider COVID-19 a federal public health emergency. Thus, the NC Department of Health and Human Services is changing some of their efforts:
Testing sites closed March 31
Ending their COVID dashboards
Will end access to vaccinations records through DHHS June 1.
NC Senator Ted Budd has endorsed Former President Donald Trump for President in 2024.
Other Important Items
NCDOT has sent their NC Clean Transportation Plan Final Report to the governor cutting carbon emissions from transportation. This plan was required by Governor Cooper’s executive order to meet climate goals. The 50-page plan is an outline that calls for boosting sales of electric passenger vehicles and trucks, expanding charging infrastructure, and promoting alternative fuels such as hydrogen.
Democrats in the House and Senate have introduced bills to change the state’s priorities and shifting to give local communities more say in how their transportation dollars are spent. H582 and S643 would also require at least 20% of the funds to go to non-highway projects. As the bills do not have any Republican sponsors or co-sponsors, they are not expected to move.