“Tangled efforts, fraud allegations, may keep Green Party off the ballot in NC” –Travis Fain, WRAL
The NC General Assembly ended its short session on July 1 without achieving many of its policy goals. Several issues the legislative body considered, including Medicaid expansion and medical marijuana legalization, stalled in the NC House and may or may not be picked back up in future sessions. The budget submitted by legislators also did not include either additional tax cuts Republicans had sought or $200 gas tax rebates Democrats had proposed, nor were raises for teachers or state employees as high as some lawmakers had advocated for. Lawmakers did include a $250 million plan to improve the government complex in downtown Raleigh and $1.5 million for a pilot training program for sexual assault nurse examiners at Fayetteville State University.
On Thursday and Friday Governor Cooper signed a series of bills into law. Among the new laws were:
HB 674 which prohibits hospitals from charging sexual assault victims for rape kits
HB 615, a law that allows for temporary extension of domestic violence protection orders to cover a gap between expiration and a hearing for a new order
HB 768, which removes a requirement for bars that don’t serve food to collect patrons’ contact information
HB 607, a law that would temporarily stop the automatic deletion of some criminal records
HB 619, called Weston’s Law after a young boy who was killed in a rental beach home elevator, improving safety standards for elevators in short-term rental properties
SB 201, a transportation bill that originally included a provision that would have allowed the Department of Transportation to use automatic license plate reader systems; this provision was removed after Republican concerns about “privacy” and “governmental overreach.”
On Wednesday Governor Cooper signed an executive order to protect abortion access in North Carolina. The order, which comes after the U.S. Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade, bans cabinet officials from cooperating with criminal investigations of NC abortion providers or people from out of state who traveled to North Carolina seeking an abortion. It also prohibits cabinet agencies from requiring pregnant employees to travel to states with curtailed abortion rights.