News from the Legislature

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From the office of N.C. Rep. Karl Gillespie

The House and Senate were on a one week hiatus for the week beginning April 5.

The House and Senate returned to normal operations for the week beginning Monday, April 12. Various committees met beginning on Tuesday, including: Health, Local Government, Education K-12, and Federal Relations and American Indian Affairs, the latter of which I am a member.

In committee we heard HB307, NC Time Zone/Observe DST All Year. HB307 would adopt Daylight Savings Time year-round in North Carolina if allowed by Congress. Currently under federal law, states may opt out of observing Daylight Savings Time by state law. Federal law does not currently allow any state to adopt Daylight Savings Time year-round. I voted for the bill and it passed committee. It has two additional committee referrals before it can make its way to the House floor for a vote.

On Tuesday, we voted on the following bills:

– HB20, 1998 Clean Water Bond Add’l Connections, would require the Secretary of Environmental Quality to authorize additional connections to waterlines funded by the Clean Water and Natural Gas Critical Needs Bond Act of 1998 from structures located on lots zoned for residential and mixed-use development. The bill passed by a unanimous vote of 117-0.

– HB32, Equity in Opportunity Act, would make changes to the K-12 Opportunity Scholarship Program by modifying eligibility requirements. The bill gives low-income families and families with students with disabilities the ability to choose the school that is appropriate for their child. I voted in favor of the bill and it passed the House by a vote of 69-49.

For Wednesday’s House session, we voted on several bills, including:

– HB141, Promote North Carolina Sawmills, would direct the Building Code Council to amend the North Carolina Residential Code for One- and Two-Family Dwellings to allow dimension lumber that has not been grade-stamped to be used in the construction of one-and two-family dwellings when meeting certain requirements such as: (i) the lumber is sold directly by a sawmill to the owner of the dwelling to be constructed, (ii) the lumber otherwise meets or exceeds Code requirements. The bill passed unanimously 118-0.

– HB279, COVID-19 Related Tax Changes/Unemployment Insurance Technical Correction, would clarify that the extra credit grants and federal stimulus payments received as COVID-19 relief are not considered income for determining eligibility for property tax exemptions based on income. The bill passed unanimously 118-0.

– HB352, Hotel Safety Issues, would clarify that occupants of accommodations provided by hotels, motels, or similar lodgings do not create a tenancy and are not subject to Chapter 42 of the General Statutes. Additionally, the bill would clarify that these occupancies are governed by the statutes relating to inns, hotels, and other transient occupancies. I voted in favor and the bill passed 81-37.

The House reconvened on Thursday to vote on several bills. Among the bills considered were:

– HB334, Temp Align PPP Treatment to Federal Treatment, would, for the 2020 tax year only, allow individual and corporate taxpayers an income tax deduction for expenses paid using a loan forgiven under the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP). I voted in favor of the bill and it passed the House by a vote of 111-2.

– HB328, Allow Trade or Exchange of Spiritous Liquor, would allow certain trades or exchanges of lawfully purchased spirituous liquor without obtaining a permit. I voted in favor of the bill and it passed 112-4.

After unanimous approval by the State House and State Senate, Gov. Cooper signed into law legislation that will create a new K-12 summer school option for students who have fallen behind due to remote learning. The Summer School options will include six weeks of in-person and fully-funded summer school and will be available to every family if they so choose.

Did You Know?

– “North Carolina Train Service Back to Full Schedule” Here’s some good news: North Carolina’s rail service is back. Amtrak’s service is back to its usual schedule with three trains between Raleigh and Charlotte each day with stops in Durham, Greensboro, Kannapolis and other cities along the route.

– “Celebrating the 245th Anniversary of Declaring Independence” On Monday, April 12, 245 years ago, in Halifax, North Carolina, North Carolina became the first colony to call for independence from Great Britain with the Halifax Resolves.”

Recently sponsored legislation

HB417: The Sergeant Mickey Hutches Act

HB447: The Jeff Rieg Law/Patients Religious Rights HB463: 250th Anniv. Am. Rev./Preserve Hist. Properties HB476: Broadband Consumer Protection

Let us know what you think

Do you have a suggestion? Concerned about a particular issue? Contact the office of Karl Gillespie and we will assist you in any way we can.

E-mail: Andrew.Bailey@ncleg.gov Telephone: 919-733-5859

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