Brooks Pierce Capital Dispatch: Budget Negotiations Continue, Farm Bill and Sports Wagering Bill Sent to Governor
Legislators this week continued budget negotiations and acted on various bills.
Budget negotiators this week continued work on a conference committee report for the budget bill (H 259). Legislative leaders have announced a goal of enacting a new budget by June 30, the end of the state’s fiscal year.
The House this week by a 69 to 44 vote concurred in the Senate version of a bill (H 347) that would authorize, regulate and tax sports wagering in North Carolina. It would also legalize pari-mutuel wagering on horse racing. The bill has been sent to Governor Roy Cooper for his expected signature.
Under the bill, the North Carolina Lottery Commission would be responsible for regulating sports wagering. Wagering could either be interactive (for example, on electronic devices such as “smart” phones) or at certain sports facilities or a place of “public accommodation” associated with such facilities. Wagers would be allowed on professional sports, college sports, electronic sports, amateur sports or other events approved by the Lottery Commission.
A privilege tax of 18% would be levied on each interactive sports wagering operator. Proceeds from this tax would go for a variety of purposes including grants for youth sports and to certain UNC school athletic departments. Of the remaining funds, 30% would go to a new Major Events, Games and Attractions Fund to attract events to North Carolina and 50% would go to the state’s General Fund, which funds most state entities other than transportation.
Legislators this week passed the Farm Bill (S 582) and sent it to the Governor. The House passed the bill on Wednesday by a 77 to 38 vote and then the Senate on Thursday concurred in the House version. The bill includes a number of provisions dealing with agriculture such as honey production, timber larceny, hog waste regulations and wetlands.
Information about bills and work of the General Assembly can be found at its website: www.ncleg.gov.
For more information, contact a member of the Brooks Pierce Government Affairs Team.