Budget negotiators from both chambers worked behind closed doors this week seeking to resolve differences on the budget bill. Some legislative leaders have indicated they hope to have the report ready for a floor vote as early as next week. Legislators also considered a number of other bills this week.
Partial Certificate of Need Repeal (S361)
A bill that would repeal certificate of need regulations on certain facilities cleared two Senate committees this week and will next be considered by the Senate Rules Committee. The bill would remove these requirements for psychiatric facilities, kidney dialysis centers, ambulatory surgical facilities, intermediate care facilities, diagnostic centers, and chemical dependency treatment facilities.
Map Act Repeal (H131)
The Senate this week passed a bill that would repeal the transportation corridor MAP Act. That law allows the North Carolina Department of Transportation to designate corridors for future highway construction. Since the House earlier approved the bill, it now heads to Governor Roy Cooper, who is expected to sign it.
Wind Ban (S377)
A bill that would place a three-year moratorium on wind farms in much of eastern North Carolina passed the Senate in a 25 to 19 vote this week. Bill supporters argue that this measure is necessary to preserve airspace around military installations. Senator Jim Perry (R-Lenoir), a leader on this issue, indicated that the bill may change as it moves forward in the legislative process and that it is not his intention to end up with a moratorium.
Solar Panel and Wind Facility Decommissioning (S568)
A bill that would require large solar power facilities and wind farms to have end-of-life plans was passed by the Senate Agriculture/Environment/Natural Resources Committee on Thursday. Supporters of the bill argue that it is important to plan ahead on this issue while some industry representatives note that having to show the financial ability at the beginning of a project to handle decommissioning at the end of a project’s life would be a disincentive to new projects. Senator Paul Newton (R-Cabarrus), one of the bill sponsors, indicated that some of the bill’s provisions may be studied between the 2019 and 2020 legislative sessions. The bill will be heard next in the Senate Finance Committee.
Landfill Ban on Discarded Computers and TVs (S553)
The Regulatory Reform Act passed the Senate this week. A provision lifting the ban on disposing discarded computers and televisions in landfills was removed from the bill on the Senate floor.
Hemp Regulation (S315)
The 2019 Farm Bill moved through additional Senate committees this week and now goes to the Senate floor. Among other things, the bill includes provisions on the regulation of hemp.
Alcohol at College Sports Events (H389)
A bill that would permit boards of trustees at University of North Carolina schools to approve beer and wine sales at athletic facilities is headed for the Senate floor next week. The bill earlier passed the House. Bill proponents noted that a number of schools in other states already permit such sales and the bill would allow UNC campuses to control it. The bill does not change State laws prohibiting sales to underage purchasers.
For more information, contact a member of the Brooks Pierce Government Affairs Team, linked below.