By George Reed, Retired Executive Director
[The deadlines for the introduction of most new bills have now passed, and we are in Crossover Week. By the end of the week, most non-money bills (i.e., not taxes, fees, or appropriations) must have passed one house in order to remain alive for this session. There are exceptions, and those exceptions can sometimes be used creatively by legislative leaders to keep bills alive. For more information on bills, including committee referrals and re-referrals, texts of bills, procedural histories, and recorded votes, go to the General Assembly website.]
Newly Introduced Bills
CRIMINAL AND JUVENILE JUSTICE
H 842, Solitary Confinement in Prisons, would require the state to set uniform guidelines for the use of solitary confinement of offenders who are minors. Guidelines would include not using solitary until other options have been tried; not using solitary for punishment, coercion, convenience or retaliation by staff; and not using solitary if it compromises the mental and physical health of the minor.
Introduced by Reps. Cunningham (D-Charlotte), Michaux (D-Durham), and Harrison (D-Greensboro).
H 801, Reentry Collaborative, would create a state reentry council collaborative to study the needs of ex-offenders recently released from prison. It would be made up of staff from several relevant parts of state government and would make regular reports and recommendations to the General Assembly.
Introduced by Reps. G. Graham (D-Kinston) and C. Graham (D-Lumberton).
H 793, Higher Education/Policies Re Sexual Assault/Sexual Consent, would require the UNC and Community College systems to develop policies and programs regarding sexual assault, domestic violence, dating violence, and stalking. This would include establishing an affirmative consent standard and addressing circumstances when consent can’t be assumed, such as intoxication.
Introduced by Rep. Meyer (D-Hillsborough).
H 815, Nondiscrimination and Accountability/Certain Private Schools, would prohibit nonpublic schools with students receiving special education scholarships or vouchers from discriminating on the basis of color, disability, national origin, race, religion, gender identity, or sexual orientation. These same schools would also be required to report certain testing results. In addition, charter schools would have sexual orientation added to their list of prohibited discrimination.
Introduced by Reps. Brockman (D-High Point), Morey (D-Durham), and Butler (D-Wilmington).
H 864, Tax Returns Uniformly Made Public Act, is similar in effect to S 587, except that it would require tax returns for the previous 10 years. (S 587 would require five years.) See RR, April 14.
Introduced by Reps. Harrison (D-Greensboro), Fisher (D-Asheville), and Meyer (D-Hillsborough).
H 786, NC Energy and Water Efficient Schools Act, would require public schools, including charters, to report each year on the amount of energy and water used during the previous year. The information would be used to set goals for improving energy and water efficiency.
Introduced by Rep. Harrison (D-Greensboro), Fisher (D-Asheville), and Carney (D-Charlotte).
H 845, NC Healthy Schools, would require the state’s schools, including charters and nonpublic schools with 50 or more students, to use environmentally sensitive cleaning products if doing so does not raise cleaning costs for the school
Introduced by Rep. Harrison (D-Greensboro), Bradford (R-Cornelius), McGrady (R-Hendersonville), and Horn (R-Weddington).
H 848, School Energy Savings Act of 2017, would require schools opened in 2030 and after to get 60% of their energy from renewable sources.
Introduced by Rep. R. Moore (D-Charlotte).
H 817, Repeal Pistol Permit Requirements, would, as the title suggests, do away with North Carolina’s pistol permitting system.
Introduced by Reps. Burr (R-Albemarle) and Millis (R-Hampstead).
HEALTH AND HEALTH CARE
H 824, Contraceptive Education for Women in Recovery, would require the state to make available information about long-acting, reversible contraceptives (LARC) to women receiving treatment for alcohol or substance abuse. This would enable the women to decide whether to use LARC during their recovery.
Introduced by Reps. Fisher (D-Asheville), Insko (D-Chapel Hill), Harrison (D-Greensboro), and Ager (D-Fairview).
H 858, Medicaid Expansion/Healthcare Jobs Initiative, is identical to S 290. See RR, March 20.
Introduced by Reps. Farmer-Butterfield (D-Wilson), Earle (D-Charlotte), Autry (D-Charlotte), and B. Richardson (D-Louisburg).
H 780, Uphold Historical Marriage Act, would declare the US Supreme Court decision legalizing same-gender marriage to be “null and void in the State of North Carolina” and would require North Carolina to follow the state constitution’s marriage amendment, adopted in 2012, “the opinion and objection of the US Supreme Court notwithstanding.”
Introduced by Reps. Pittman (R-Concord), Speciale (R-New Bern), and Ford (R-China Grove). Speaker Moore referred it to the House Rules Committee, declaring that it would not be heard in committee.
H 877, Safer Roads and Communities Act, would authorize the Division of Motor Vehicles to issue driver’s licenses to undocumented immigrants who don’t have a criminal history. They would be for two years and could be renewed, and the license itself would be visually different from others. DMV would be required by the bill to keep confidential the information it would gather about undocumented immigrants.
Introduced by Reps. Harrison (D-Greensboro), Meyer (D-Hillsborough), Fisher (D-Asheville), and Morey (D-Durham).
LOTTERY AND OTHER GAMBLING
H 783, Prohibit Resale of Lottery Tickets. Under current law, the state can withhold money from lottery winners who owe back taxes or delinquent child support. This has created a resale market in which people holding a winning ticket who know they will lose some or all of those winnings sell the ticket to someone not subject to the withholding. The buyers turn in the ticket and get the payout. The original winners, who may sell for less than the ticket is worth, still net more money than if they had cashed in the ticket themselves. The state loses taxes that are owed, and children lose support they need. H 783 would prohibit this process and make both sellers and buyers guilty of a misdemeanor.
Introduced by Reps. Collins (R-Rocky Mount) and Bert Jones (R-Reidsville).
H 812, Minimum Wage/Agriculture/Domestic Workers, would make agricultural and domestic workers subject to minimum wage and overtime rules.
Introduced by Reps. Fisher (D-Asheville), Farmer-Butterfield (D-Wilson), and Harrison (D-Greensboro).
Current Status of Introduced Bills
S 68, Bipartisan Board of Elections and Ethics, has been vetoed by Gov. Cooper. Click here for his veto message. The General Assembly has overridden the veto, and the issue is likely to return to the courts.
H 239, Reduce Court of Appeals to 12 Judges, has also been vetoed by the Governor. Click here for his veto message. The General Assembly is also expected to override this one. But, in a surprise move earlier this week, Doug McCullough, the first of the three Republican judges to face mandatory retirement, announced his (slightly) early retirement in order to let the Governor name a replacement before the General Assembly could override the veto.
H 319, Study Solar Facility Decommissioning Requirements, has passed the House and been sent to the Senate.
H 591, Study Law Enforcement Interaction with Disabled Drivers, has passed the House and been sent to the Senate.