North Carolina Legislative Update, June 8, 2018
After passing the budget and sending it to the Governor, the legislature turned its attention to other policy issues this week.
Budget Veto (S99)
Governor Roy Cooper announced Wednesday that he was vetoing the legislature's state budget bill. The Senate overrode his veto and the House is expected to hold an override vote early next week. Given that the bill passed the House by a veto-proof margin, a veto override is expected in that chamber.
Build NC Bonds (H1010 and S758)
Proposals in both chambers that would speed up local and regional road projects moved quickly this week. The Build NC Bonds plan is similar to federal GARVEE bonds and would pay the bonds based on future tax revenues. The State could borrow up to $3 billion over 10 years under the plan, which is backed by Governor Cooper and the Department of Transportation. H1010 passed House Transportation, Appropriations, and Finance Committees this week and will be heard next in House Rules. S758, which is identical to H1010, has cleared the Senate and will be heard next in House Finance.
Farm Act (S711)
This year's Farm Act has a number of notable provisions including directing the Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services to enforce mislabeling of plant based products as "milk" (such as almond milk) and directing the Utilities Commission to adopt rules for certain natural gas margin revenue agreements. The provision that has generated the most debate would amend the law related to when a farm is considered a nuisance. The bill has passed its second reading in the Senate and is expected to clear the chamber next week.
Judicial Redistricting (H717 and S757)
House Bill 717, which revises judicial divisions and limits rotations of Superior Court judges, passed the Senate this week and is headed to a conference committee. Meanwhile, Senate Bill 757, which changes judicial districts in Wake and Mecklenburg counties, has been sent to the Governor's desk. Governor Cooper has expressed concerns about S757 and it is unclear whether he will sign it.