Brooks Pierce Capital Dispatch: Updates from the NC General Assembly and Governor’s Office - October #4

Brooks Pierce
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Brooks Pierce

[co-authors: katelyn Kingsbury and Drew Moretz, Government Relations Advisors]

This week at the General Assembly, negotiations with the Governor over the budget bill continued and members worked on new congressional and legislative district maps.

Budget Bill

Legislative leaders and Gov. Cooper, along with their staffs, continued to discuss the proposed biennial budget bill (S 105) behind closed doors this week and according to press reports, Legislators sent a new proposal to the Governor on Tuesday. Among the issues expected to be resolved through the review and feedback process are the amount of education spending, tax reductions and infrastructure spending. In addition, Gov. Cooper is advocating for an expansion of Medicaid coverage. Although a new budget bill was not enacted before the end of the state’s fiscal year on June 30, state government operations are continuing pursuant to state law with spending at the FY 21 recurring funding levels.   

Regulatory “Sandbox”

Gov. Cooper recently signed into law a bill (H 624) that seeks to facilitate the development of innovative financial and insurance products or services that utilize new or emerging technology. The new law creates a "regulatory sandbox program" whereby an overseeing agency would be allowed to waive, with limited exceptions and for a limited time, statutory or regulatory requirements that otherwise would not permit a participant to offer the product or service to consumers. It also creates a new Innovation Council to select persons or entities wishing to offer an innovative product or service for participation in a 24-month program under the oversight of either the Office of the Commissioner of Banks or the Department of Insurance, depending on the product or service being offered.

Redistricting

This week, Legislators continued drawing legislative and congressional maps and are expected to hold public hearings on the maps across the state in the coming weeks. This process occurs every 10 years after the Census. Legislators have indicated they are working to approve the maps by early November.

Some Notable Pending Bills

In addition to the significant funding and policy issues that will likely be addressed in the budget bill (S 105), a number of other notable bills are awaiting action. Among those are:

  • H 954, which would authorize and regulate video lottery terminals—House Commerce Committee has passed; pending in House Finance Committee
  • S 688, which would authorize sports wagering—Senate has passed; pending in House Commerce Committee
  • S 711, which would authorize the use of marijuana for certain medical purposes—Three Senate committees have passed it; pending in Senate Rules Committee

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