NC Legislative Update
By Cady Thomas
In each long session, the NCGA sets a date by which most bills have to pass their body or origin or they die for the remainder of the biennium. That date this year was May 14. Bills that have appropriations or tax implications do not need to meet this deadline. So far this year:
336 of the 969 introduced bills have passed the House;
156 of the 721 introduced bills have passed the Senate; and
17 bills have been signed by Governor Cooper.
Now that crossover has passed, the next item of NCGA business is the budget. This year it starts in the Senate and we expect to see their verison by the end of May. However, the House and Senate have not yet agreed to a spending cap. This may delay the release.
Bills and Legislation
SB 477 – Victims Fair Treatment Act, which was opposed by CRMCA and a number of other stakeholders, has died as it did not pass the Senate before May 14. This bill would have abandoned North Carolina’s longstanding adherence to the “contributory negligence” doctrine, a key doctrine setting our state apart from the competition on the fairness and judiciousness of our civil liability system.
Numbers as of May 17:
991,956 total cases
815 currently hospitalized
4.7% percentage of positive tests each day
46.4% of adult population fully vaccinated
Governor Lifts Most COVID Restrictions
On Friday, Governor Cooper signed Executive Order 215 which immediately ended most restrictions in North Carolina. This was done in response to the CDC’s changes in their guidance. Now fully vaccinated persons do not have to wear a mask indoor or outdoors with some limitations and all limits on gatherings and occupancy were lifted.
The mask requirement remains in effect on public transportation and in child care centers, schools, camps, prisons and certain health care settings, such as nursing homes. Local governments and businesses can still require people to wear masks.
Other Important Items
Last week, State Auditor Beth Wood released a report on North Carolina’s spending of COVID relief funds from the federal government. The audit report that North Carolina potentially misspent more than $3 billion because officials failed to monitor how the money was used.