Old North State Report - April 28, 2017
“Crossover” week (when non-fiscal bills must pass one chamber or the other to remain eligible for consideration) is always hectic as members cram work in under the self-imposed deadline. This year is no exception as dozens of committee meetings were held and marathon sessions lasted until late in the night. Debates were occasionally marked by exhaustion and irritation.
Among the highlights of the week:
The General Assembly, voting along party lines, over-rode two vetoes from Governor Cooper. One bill reduces the size of the State Court of Appeals and another merges the state offices of elections and ethics. Lawsuits are expected to follow. Here is a handy chart comparing the organization of the new Board of Ethics and Elections to its predecessors:
Both chambers concurred on the controversial House Bill 467 (“Agriculture and Forestry Nuisance Remedies”) which limits the amount of compensatory damages that may be awarded in a private nuisance action against an agricultural or forestry operation to the fair market or fair rental value of the plaintiff's property:
The heavily-lobbied House Bill 36 pitting optometrists versus ophthalmologists has been turned into a study bill. In lieu of authorizing optometrists to perform additional medical procedures, the House passed a substitute version which requires the NC Institute of Medicine to research increased access to eye care:
The House approved placing four constitutional amendments (“right to work” banning mandatory union dues, victims’ rights, repealing literacy tests for voter registration, and limiting governors and lieutenant governors to two terms during their lifetimes) on the ballot in November 2018. In what can be viewed as a preview of coming attractions, the Senate actually amended their rules this week to exempt proposed constitutional amendments from the crossover deadline:
Senate Bill 660 (“Economic Development Incentives Modifications”) was approved and sent to the House where members are expected to explore different approaches to encouraging job creation and business recruitment in rural areas:
The articles published in this newsletter are intended only to provide general information on the subjects covered. The contents should not be construed as legal advice or a legal opinion. Readers should consult with legal counsel to obtain specific legal advice based on particular situations.