It was another busy week at the General Assembly as both chambers worked towards a possible adjournment by the end of next week.
The week was mainly consumed with mini-budgets, bills to reopen some businesses currently closed, a possible bond referendum, and changes at DOT. Leaders of both chambers have indicated a desire to adjourn by the end of next week, so the fast pace will likely continue.
State and Legislative Issues
The General Assembly advanced several bills this week that would reopen certain businesses that are still closed and would prevent the state or local governments from prohibiting parades or fireworks for the Fourth of July. Businesses considered in the various bills include skating rinks, bowling alleys, amusement parks, arcades, and wedding venues.
NC legislature sends third reopening bill to governor (Charlotte Observer)
Some NC lawmakers want to allow July 4 fireworks, parades – even if governor says no (Raleigh News & Observer)
NC legislature’s next attempt to reopen businesses: Amusement parks, event venues (Charlotte Observer)
On Thursday, the House of Representatives gave tentative approval to a $3.1 billion bond proposal by an overwhelming majority. The bill would place a referendum on the November ballot seeking the authority for the state to issue $3.1 billion in general obligation debt (voter approval is required for general obligation debt). The proceeds would be used as follows: $1.5 billion for transportation projects; $800 million for public school capital needs, $600 million for UNC capital needs, and $200 million for community college needs.
The bill requires a second vote in the House next week and then will head to the Senate. Senate leadership has not indicated whether they will act on the bill, but a similar proposal approved by the House last year never advanced in the Senate.
NC House wants to borrow $3.1 billion for construction projects. Will Senate agree? (Raleigh News & Observer)
The General Assembly continued to advance appropriations bills this week. As mini-budget bills are being considered, a comprehensive budget bill is not expected for the 20-21 state budget. Big provisions in these mini-bills include pay increases for public school employees and funds for Medicaid transformation.
DHHS headquarters to stay in Wake County as Senate deals with Medicaid budget (WRAL)
NC legislature approves teacher step raises and $350 bonuses (Charlotte Observer)
Local Issues – Raleigh
Face Mask Requirement
Beginning at 4:00 p.m. today, people are required to wear face masks when in public or private spaces in Raleigh with people who are not household members. The requirement applies in situations where social distancing cannot be maintained or is not being followed.
Exceptions to the mandate include people whose religious beliefs prevent them from wearing a face covering, people who cannot wear a face covering due to a medical or behavioral condition, children under 12 years old, people who are with members of their family or household, restaurant patrons while they are dining, workers in individual offices, people complying with directions of law enforcement officers and anyone in a setting where it isn’t practical or feasible to wear a face covering, such as receiving dental care or swimming.
Raleigh mask requirement starts Friday: where masks are, aren’t required (WRAL)
MVA Public Affairs COVID-19 Resources