NC Legislative Update: June 2019 #4

Nexsen Pruet, PLLC

The House and Senate reached a compromise on the budget this week and both chambers moved to pass the conference report. Governor Cooper held a “veto ceremony” this afternoon where he expressed his concerns with the budget. The legislature will now attempt to override the veto, but that depends on Republicans convincing enough Democrats to break ranks and vote with them. During his veto message, Governor Cooper noted that he will be sending a compromise budget to the legislature.

Both chambers continued the sprint towards the end of session, with many bills being dusted off and moved through committee. Lawmakers are anticipated to take a brief recess over the Fourth of July holiday, and then return to work on wrapping up session for the year. Budget negotiations with the Governor could force session to drag on for months if a deal cannot be reached.

Budget Compromise

The General Assembly passed a $24 billion budget this week, only to have it vetoed by Governor Cooper, who cites that spending priorities are not in line with what he views as best for the State. Teachers would get an on average 2% raise in both years of the budget, and state employees would receive a 2.5% raise in both years as well. Retirees would receive a onetime .5% cost of living adjustment.

Medicaid expansion was not included in the budget, which has been the top priority for Governor Cooper this year. Governor Cooper has also been critical of proposed cuts to the corporate tax rate, which were included in the budget.

The budget sets up a funding mechanism for school construction that will allocate $4.4 billion over the next ten years for the purpose. This is at odds with the Governor’s request for a public school construction bond.

The budget also contains a provision that was in the Senate budget which would move the Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) to Granville County.

Several Democrats joined the Republicans in both the House and Senate on the vote to approve the budget, with the Senate voting with the majorities needed to override a veto. The House would need to pick up several more Democrats to override a veto, but House Minority Leader, Representative Darren Jackson, has stated that the Democratic Caucus will remain united and not vote to override the veto.

WRAL: https://www.wral.com/state-budget-sent-to-governor-but-veto-expected/18478201/

Budget Conference Report: https://webservices.ncleg.net/ViewBillDocument/2019/5051/0/H966-PCCS30485-LRXR-3

Budget Money Report: https://webservices.ncleg.net/ViewBillDocument/2019/5051/2/H966-BD-NBC-5888

Supreme Court Rules on Partisan Gerrymandering Case

In a 5-4 decision, the United States Supreme Court ruled this week that North Carolina’s congressional maps are legal, striking down a challenge claiming that excessively partisan maps are unconstitutional. North Carolina drew maps several years ago that led to a 10-3 Republican majority for their congressional delegation. In the majority’s ruling, Chief Justice Roberts acknowledged the undemocratic principles of partisan gerrymandering, but concluded that the issue should be decided by Congress or state legislatures. The plaintiffs are now hoping that a similar case in state court will have a different outcome.

WRAL: https://www.wral.com/partisan-mapmaking-in-nc-withstands-supreme-court-challenge-in-far-reaching-gerrymandering-case/18455244/

Sanctuary City Legislation

The House passed a bill to allow citizens to file lawsuits against cities or counties that have what proponents of the bill call “sanctuary cities”. Bill sponsors claim that they intend for this legislation to prevent localities from having relaxed polices on illegal immigrants. Protestors were out in force to advocate for immigrants and claim that the bill is not needed. Under the bill, plaintiffs will be allowed injunctive relief as well as attorney's fees.

2019 Session Laws

The following 67 bills have become law this session:

  1. SB 7: Bipartisan Ethics Appointments
  2. SB 75: Restore Ct. of Appeals Membership
  3. SB 77: Ag Disaster Fund/Certain Counties
  4. SB 214: Ensure Orderly 2019 Elections
  5. SB 12: Fill Certain Vacancies/Alexander & Burke Co.
  6. SB 56: Revenue Laws Technical Changes
  7. SB 4: Extend Terms of 2 Members/Coastal Carolina CC
  8. SB 272: Zoning for University Facilities-Durham
  9. SB 6: Dare County/CC Construction Funds
  10. SB 162: Loan Origination/Late Payment Charge Changes
  11. HB 263: Fill Vacancies/Modify 2018 Appointments
  12. SB 63: City of Kannapolis/Annexation
  13. HB 130: Allow Game Nights
  14. SB 505: Rural Job Retention Act
  15. SB 605: Highway Storm Recovery Act
  16. HB 1014: 2020 Census VTD Verification Program
  17. SB 310: Electric Co-Op Rural Broadband Services
  18. HB 363: Craft Beer Distribution & Modernization Act
  19. HB 233: State Auditor/Local Finance Officer Amends
  20. HB 532: DNCR Add New Trails & Various Changes
  21. HB 388: Immunizing Pharmacists
  22. HB 646: ID Approval/Flex Muni One-Stop
  23. HB 70: Delay NC HealthConnex for Certain Providers
  24. HB 9: Bessemer City Charter Amendment
  25. HB 201: Randolph Co. Register of Deeds Tax Cert
  26. SB 252: Dental Bill of Rights
  27. SB 138: Even-Yr Municipal Elections/Town of Black Mtn.
  28. SB 139: Even-Yr. Municipal Elections/Town of Montreat
  29. HB 336: Extend Suspension of Spencer Mountain
  30. SB 235: Franklin/Nash Municipalities/Unfit Dwellings
  31. SB 30 Stanly CC/Contracting Date Extension
  32. SB 381: Reconstitute/Clarify Boards and Commissions
  33. HB 301: CIP Revisions/Juvenile Code
  34. HB 179: Mini-Truck Classification
  35. HB 131: Repeal Map Act
  36. HB 82: Railroad Crossings/On-Track Equipment
  37. SB 648: Support Shellfish Aquaculture
  38. SB 448: Amend Appt For Compact on Education/Military
  39. SB 255: State Board Construction Contract Claim
  40. SB 151: Break or Enter Pharmacy/Increase Penalty
  41. HB 617: Allow Repeat Referral to Teen Court
  42. HB 578: Modify Legitimations Provisions
  43. HB 548: Modify Physical Therapy Definition
  44. HB 383: Topsail Beach Charter/Board Vacancies
  45. HB 1016: UNC Boards of Trustees Appointments
  46. HB 1017: Special Master Wake House Plan
  47. HB 415: Photos of Juveniles/Show-Ups
  48. SB 148: Public Records/Release of LEO Recordings
  49. SB 11: ABC Regulation and Reform
  50. SB 466: EDPNC Modifications
  51. HB 57: Create Term for Public Schs. & Codify NCVPS
  52. HB 389: ABC/Univ Athletic Facility
  53. HB 531: Tenants at Foreclosure Act Restored
  54. HB 658: Allow Donations of Unexpired Drugs
  55. HB 664: myFutureNC/Postsecondary Attainment Goal
  56. HB 432: Water/Sewer to Contiguous Dwelling Units
  57. HB 219: NAIC Accreditation Amendments.-AB
  58. SB 80: China Grove Satellite Annexation
  59. SB 242: Recreational Land Fee Changes
  60. SB 227: TP3/Principal Fellows Consolidation
  61. SB 84: Walkertown Zoning Authorizations
  62. SB 262: Union/Prohibit Certain Hunting Acts
  63. SB 674: Surry Co./Mt. Airy/Elkin City/Bd. Ed Partisan
  64. HB 15: Lexington/Dissolve Utilities Commission
  65. HB 240: Albemarle/City Labor for Business Ctr
  66. HB 299: Henderson Cty/Build Community College Bldgs
  67. HB 6: Burlington Airport/Lease/Contract Authority

DISCLAIMER: Because of the generality of this update, the information provided herein may not be applicable in all situations and should not be acted upon without specific legal advice based on particular situations.

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