News from the Legislature From the office of N.C. Rep. Karl Gillespie

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The House held a no-vote session on Monday, June 28, 2021. Tuesday began with various committee meetings to review the Senate budget. I attended the House Appropriations, Education Committee where we reviewed the education portion of the Senate budget. Session convened Tuesday afternoon and we considered the following bills:

– SB41, Remove Certain Satellite Annexation Caps for the cities of Kings Mountain, Lowell and Shelby, and the town of Franklinville, Liberty, Ramseur, Stanley and Vass. I voted in favor and the bill passed, 108-3.

– SB188, Board of Architects/Interior Designers, would allow for registration of interior designers and to modify the North Carolina Board of Architecture. I voted in favor and the bill passed, 105-7.

– SJR726, Confirm David Richard/Director Health Benefits, is a joint resolution providing for the confirmation of Dave Richards as director of the Division of Health Benefits, Department of Health and Human Services. The bill passed unanimously.

I attended an additional House Appropriations, Education Committee on Wednesday morning where we continued discussions on education funding in the Senate budget. I attended two caucus meetings with my colleagues prior to the start of the afternoon voting session. During session, we voted on various bills, including:

– HB619, Alcohol Bev. Manufacture Sales Tax Exemption, would exempt from sales and use tax sales of machinery, parts, accessories, supplies, and ingredients to certain ABC permittees for use in the manufacturing of beer, wine, and spiritous liquor for which the purchaser would otherwise be ineligible because the purchaser is primarily engaged in the restaurant business. I voted in favor and the bill passed, 102-6.

– SB198, GSC Good Funds Settlement/Comm. Receivership, recommended by the General Statutes Commission, consists of three parts. Part I amends the Good Funds Settlement Act to provide that a settlement agent may disburse settlement proceeds in reliance on a check drawn on the account of or issued by a licensed mortgage lender. Part II makes amendments relating to the N.C. Commercial Receivership Act, enacted last year by S.L. 2020-75. Part III makes technical changes to various laws regulating financial practices. The bill passed unanimously, 109-0.

The House held no-vote sessions on Thursday and Friday prior to the start of the July 4th holiday weekend. A one-week recess began Monday, July 5, 2021. The House returned, Monday, July 12, 2021 and held a no-vote session.

On Tuesday, July 13, the House Energy and Public Utilities Committee met to discuss HB951, Study Emerging Energy Generation. The House Rules Committee also met prior to session.

Tuesday afternoon’s session included votes on these bills:

– HB375, Franklinville/ Liberty/Ramseur/Roxboro Boundary, would exempt the Towns of Franklinville, Liberty, and Ramseur from the 10% area cap on voluntary satellite annexations and remove a 2.6817-acre tract of land from the corporate limits of the City of Roxboro. The House concurred with the Senate Committee Substitute via a voice vote.

– SB122, Towns of Spruce Pine and Weaverville Deannexation, would remove one tract of land from the corporate limits of the Town of Spruce Pine and remove one tract of land from the corporate limits of the Town of Weaverville. The House voted in favor, 105-0.

– HB334, Job Opportunity and Business Saving Grants and Tax Relief, would provide grants to N.C. businesses affected by the COVID-19 pandemic, reduce taxes for businesses and individuals, update the reference to the Internal Revenue Code, make various other changes to the Revenue Laws, and appropriate funds from the General Fund to the Savings Reserve. The House voted to not concur with the Senate Committee Substitute and a conference committee was appointed to reach a compromise agreement with the Senate.

– HB67, General Statutes Commission Technical Corrections 2021, consist of updating or removing obsolete references, fixing incorrect references, fixing the format of citations, replacing legalese with plain English, removing unnecessary language, making stylistic changes for greater clarity or consistency, and more. I voted in favor and the House concurred with the Senate Committee Substitute by a vote of 104-1.

On Wednesday, I met with various liaisons and lobbyists. Later in the day, I had the pleasure of meeting with representatives from the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians. Following an afternoon caucus, session convened at 4 p.m., and we considered numerous bills, including:

– HB71, Living Donor Protection Act, would provide insurance protections and a tax credit for individuals who are living organ donors, including bone marrow, and it would provide paid leave for State employees and State-supported personnel who are living organ or bone marrow donors. The bill passed unanimously, 105-0.

– SB146, Teledentistry/RDH Admin. Local Anesthetic, would establish standards for teledentistry; allow dental hygienists to administer local anesthetics while under the direct supervision of a licensed dentist; allow certain dental hygienists to practice without a licensed dentist physically present; allow licensure by credentials for certain dental instructors, and add the ECU School of Dental Medicine to the NC Caring Dental Professionals Board. I voted in favor and the bill passed, 101-7.

– HB951, Modernize Energy Generation, would diversify the state’s energy portfolio to include natural gas, nuclear and solar.  In turn, this will reduce carbon dioxide emissions by nearly 63% compared to the state’s 2005 carbon dioxide emissions peak. The rate changes in the bill is a proactive measure to head off inevitable price increases from future federally mandated energy legislation.  I voted in favor, and the bill passed, 58-50. Immediate third reading of HB951 was objected to, therefore the bill would need to be heard on another business day. As session was running past 8 p.m., the decision was made to hold a 12:01a.m. session on Thursday, July 15, for the third reading, rather than require members to return the following morning at a designated time. HB951 passed third reading, 57-49, and the bill now heads to the Senate.

No-vote sessions were held on Thursday and Friday.

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