LEGISLATIVE LANE – Thursday July 2, 2020
The Honorable Shelly Willingham
..At YOUR Service!…..
300 N Salisbury Street
Legislative Office Building
Raleigh, NC 27603
(919) 715-3024 (O)
(919) 754-3224 (F)
Edgecombe & Martin
Governor Cooper Signs these Bills into Law
- House Bill 307: Mod. Utility Vehicle Classification
- House Bill 455: Amend Various Motor Vehicle Laws
- House Bill 463: Education in Prisons
- House Bill 511: North Carolina First Step Act
- House Bill 679: Rules of Civ Procedure/ E-Filing and Service
- House Bill 736: Elective Share-Joint Accounts
- House Bill 873: System Development Fee/ ADU Sewer Permit
- House Bill 920: Condominium Association Changes
- House Bill 1050: PED/ Low Performing School Districts
- House Bill 1080: Revenue Laws Recommendations
- House Bill 1096: UNC Omnibus Changes/ UNC Lab School Funds
- House Bill 1168: Murphy Branch Corridor Reduction
- House Bill 1218: Salary Related Contribution/Debt Service Funds
- House Bill 1229: Unemployment Insurance Program Integrity
Governor Cooper shared this statement on HB 1096:
“Expanding the Teaching Fellows program will get North Carolina’s brightest students committed to teaching in our state’s classrooms. We should include HBCUs in the expansion to improve diversity at the front of the classroom, which research shows can improve student performance.”
- Senate Bill 113: Education Omnibus
- Senate Bill 595: Changes to Real Property Statutes
- Senate Bill 719: Retirement Tech./Protect/ & Other Changes
- Senate Bill 750: Capital Projects – Elizabeth City State Univ.
- Senate Bill 811: Connect NC Park Facilities Operating Reserves
- Senate Bill 812: Agricultural Sciences Center Funds
- Senate Bill 814: NC Promise Tuition Plan Funds
- Senate Bill 818: Compensation for Certain School Employees
Governor Cooper shared this statement on SB 818:
“I signed this bill because it funds step increases for teachers that have already been promised, but it falls outrageously short on raises we need to give teachers and all school personnel like bus drivers and cafeteria workers. The Legislature must make educator pay a top priority when they come back in September.”
North Carolina Pauses in Safer At Home Phase 2, Adds Statewide Requirement for Face Coverings
Governor Roy Cooper and North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services Secretary Dr. Mandy Cohen announced last week that North Carolina will remain in Safer at Home Phase 2 for three more weeks. Cooper also announced that face coverings must be worn when people are in public places as officials seek to stabilize concerning trends of increasing viral spread.
Growing evidence shows that cloth face coverings, when worn consistently, can decrease the spread of COVID-19, especially among people who are not yet showing symptoms of the virus.
Based on the metrics laid out in April, North Carolina is evaluating a combination of the data from the following categories that shows the indicators moving in the wrong direction, causing officials to pause in Phase 2.
- North Carolina’s syndromic surveillance trend for COVID-like illness is increasing.
- North Carolina’s trajectory of lab-confirmed cases starting to level, but is still increasing.
- North Carolina’s trajectory in percent of tests returning positive remains elevated.
- North Carolina’s trajectory of hospitalizations are increasing, though we have capacity in our healthcare system.
Businesses can download templates for signs on face coverings here.
Read Frequently Asked Questions about last week’s executive Order and mandatory face coverings.
Legislators, Advocates Push for Needed Changes to NC’s Unemployment System
Long before the COVID-19 crisis, North Carolina had the worst unemployment system in the country for unemployed workers. Our system provided too little in compensation, for too short a period of time, to too few unemployed workers.
I am a strong supporter of House Bill 1075 to fix the unemployment system now so jobless workers can weather the current crisis and the next one. Federal pandemic assistance programs are set to expire at the end of July and December, leaving workers and businesses across our state with an inadequate system to stabilize the state’s economy through to a full recovery, particularly given the potential for a second wave of the virus in the fall.
House Bill 1075 would:
· Lengthen the amount of time an unemployed worker could potentially receive compensation to 26 weeks (up from 13);
· Increase the maximum potential weekly benefit to $450/week (up from a max of $350/week); and
· Expand when a worker could receive unemployment such as when a spouse relocates for a job.
Democrats Propose Small Business Relief Grants to Businesses Closed Due to COVID-19
Last week House Democrats proposed a $50 million grant program to help small businesses like gyms forced to close due to COVID-19. Priority for the grants would be given to businesses with less than 100 employees and those who are not receiving federal small business assistance.
Republican leaders blocked consideration of the amendment, instead, putting in their own, similar amendment in a bill that is currently sitting in a legislative graveyard.
All of our businesses will continue to suffer until the public health situation improves and consumers grow confident enough to resume normal spending. Until then, we should stop partisan political games and provide our closed businesses with funding to help them survive.
Democrats Propose Requiring Agricultural Production Facilities to Better Protect Factor Workers as a Condition of Receiving COVID-19 Funding
North Carolina has more COVID-19 outbreaks at meat and poultry processing facilities than any other state. Despite voluntary guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and NC DHHS, more than 2,000 processing plant workers had tested positive for the virus by the end of May. These workers are disproportionately African-American and Hispanic, a major contributing factor as to the growing spread of the virus in these communities.
HB 1201 spends nearly $18 million to help small, independent meat processors to increase production. House Democrats put forward an amendment to require the processing plants to comply with safety guidance from federal and state health officials as a condition to receive funding. The amendment died on a tied vote with some Republicans joining Democrats in voting Yes.
After the amendment failed, a compromise amendment was adopted to require the grant recipients to submit to public health officials a plan detailing how they will protect employees from viral spread.
“Never be afraid to raise your voice for honesty and truth and compassion against injustice and lying and greed. If people all over the world…would do this, it would change the earth.”
— William Faulkner
STAY Home, Healthy and Hopeful!
PHASE II REMINDER: The virus is still circulating, and there’s no cure or vaccine yet, so people still need to be cautious. People should remember the 3 W’s when they leave home:
1. Wear a face covering
2. Wash your hands frequently for 20 seconds at a time
3. Wait 6 feet apart from other people
Source: NC Department of Health and Human Services (NCDHHS)
REMINDER TO COMPLETE CENSUS 2020
2020 House Committee Assignments
- Alcoholic Beverage Control
- Congressional Redistricting
- Disaster Relief
- Economic Development & Global Engagement
- Elections and Ethics Law
- House Select Committee on COVID-19 (REMOTE ONLY with Public Access via http://www.ncleg.gov, Click Audio and Committee Room 1228 LB)
- Residential Planning and Permitting
- Rules, Calendar and Operations of the House
- State and Local Government