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Weekly Legislative Report
May 29, 2015
This was a short week at the North Carolina General Assembly with Monday off in
observance of Memorial Day and not much activity scheduled for Tuesday in order to allow
legislators to return to Raleigh. This schedule allowed legislators to spend the Memorial Day
weekend with their families and to attend various Memorial Day ceremonies in their home
communities.
On Wednesday, Governor Pat McCrory met in a closed-door session with the Republican
legislators from both the House and Senate to talk with them about his request for $3 billion in
bonds that he would like authorization for the State to issue. The bonds would be issued to raise
money for roads, ports, parks and State buildings. Governor McCrory would like for the
legislature to authorize a public vote on a bond referendum this year. It has been reported that
some legislative leaders would prefer to deal with this matter in 2016.
This week, the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee chairs began working in closed
session to draft the Senate version of the State budget bill. Those meetings are likely to continue
throughout the weekend if necessary so that their recommendations will be ready for
consideration by the Senate leadership next week. The Senate leadership announced a goal of
having their version of the budget bill approved in the Senate and sent to the House by June 11th.
This would allow over two weeks for the House and Senate to discuss the differences between
the two versions of the budget bill and to resolve those differences prior to the new fiscal year
beginning on July 1st. Whether or not a new budget will be agreed upon by the House and Senate
prior to July 1st remains to be seen.
The House and Senate adjourned on Thursday and will reconvene on Monday.
BILL STATUS
HOUSE BILL 82, Execution/Nonsecure Custody Order/Child Abuse, has been approved by the
General Assembly and sent to Governor Pat McCrory for his signature.
HOUSE BILL 113, Protect Our Students Act, has been approved by the General Assembly and
sent to Governor Pat McCrory for his signature.
HOUSE BILL 222, Retention Elections/Supreme Court, has passed the Senate Committee on
Redistricting with amendments, and has passed a second vote in the Senate. This bill was
amended to provide that only justices on the Supreme Court of North Carolina who have been
previously elected to office would have their next election be a retention election at which only
Weekly Legislative Report
North Carolina Sheriffs’ Association
May 29, 2015
their name would be placed on the ballot and the voters would be allowed to vote either for or
against retention of that justice for a new term of office. The previous version of the bill
included North Carolina Court of Appeals judges as well.
HOUSE BILL 232, Study/Update Bicycle Safety Laws, has been approved by the General
Assembly and sent to Governor Pat McCrory for his signature.
HOUSE BILL 294, Prohibit Cell Phone/Delinquent Juvenile.-AB, has been approved by the
General Assembly and sent to Governor Pat McCrory for his signature.
HOUSE BILL 315, Sheriff & Landlord/Tenant-Writs of Poss. Chg, has been approved by the
General Assembly and sent to Governor Pat McCrory for his signature.
HOUSE BILL 385, Sheriffs' Supp. Pension Fund Changes, has passed the House Committee on
Finance, and has passed a second vote in the House. This bill has been placed on the calendar for
a vote in the House on Monday, June 1, 2015 and then it will be sent to the Senate for their
consideration.
HOUSE BILL 405, Property Protection Act, has been approved by the General Assembly and
was sent to Governor McCrory for his signature. This bill has been vetoed by Governor Pat
McCrory and will be returned to the General Assembly to see if there are sufficient votes to
override the veto.
HOUSE BILL 465, Women and Children's Protection Act of 2015, has passed the Senate
Judiciary II Committee with amendments, and has passed a second vote in the Senate. This bill
has been placed on the calendar for a vote in the House on Monday, June 1, 2015 and then it will
be sent to the Senate for their consideration.
This bill was amended and would make several changes that would impact the criminal justice
community. Among these changes:
1. The crime of “statutory rape or sexual offense of a person who is 13, 14, or 15 years
old” would be modified and would provide that it would be a Class B1 felony if an
individual engages in vaginal intercourse or a sexual act with a person who is 15
years of age or younger and the defendant is at least six years older than the person.
This amendment would expand the coverage of this law to victims who are under the
age of 13. Currently, the statute only covers acts committed against a person who is
13, 14, or 15 years of age.
Additionally, a defendant would be guilty of a Class C felony if the defendant
engages in vaginal intercourse or a sexual act with another person who is 15 years of
age or younger and the defendant is more than four but less than six years older than
the victim. Again, the amendment would expand the coverage of this law to victims
who are under the age of 13, whereas the statute as currently written only covers acts
committed against a person who is 13, 14, or 15 years of age.
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Weekly Legislative Report
North Carolina Sheriffs’ Association
May 29, 2015
2. The Administrative Office of the Courts would be authorized to develop a program to
allow for the electronic filing of petitions for domestic violence protective orders and
civil no-contact orders under Chapter 50B and Chapter 50C, respectively, of the
North Carolina General Statutes.
Hearings to consider ex parte relief (only one party is present before the court) for
both domestic violence protective orders and civil no-contact orders would be
allowed to be held via video conference proceedings. Hearings to consider permanent
relief through these orders however would not be able to be held via video conference
proceedings.
3. The statute [G.S. 14-33(d)] providing for an increased punishment for an individual
who commits an assault on a person with whom the individual had a personal
relationship and the assault took place “in the presence of a minor” would be
clarified. This bill would clarify that the phrase “in the presence of a minor” would
mean that the minor was in a position to see or hear the assault.
4. The area restrictions placed on registered sex offenders (for example, sex offenders
are restricted from being on school grounds) would be expanded and would apply to
any registered sex offender convicted of a rape or sex offense under federal law or in
another state if the federal or out-of-state crime is substantially similar to a rape or
sex offense as defined in North Carolina. Currently, these area restrictions only apply
to sex offenders convicted under North Carolina law of rape or sex offense.
HOUSE BILL 552, Graffiti Vandalism, was passed by the Senate with amendments, and was
returned to the House for consideration of the Senate changes. If the House does not accept the
Senate changes, members from both the House and Senate will be appointed to attempt to reach
an agreement on the bill.
This bill was amended to provide that a person would be guilty of a Class H felony if the person
committed the act of graffiti vandalism and has: 1) two or more prior convictions of graffiti
vandalism; 2) with the current violation being committed after the second conviction of graffiti
vandalism; and 3) the violation resulting in the second conviction was committed after the first
conviction for graffiti vandalism. The previous version of the bill provided that a person who had
two or more prior convictions for graffiti vandalism or who had committed five or more graffiti
vandalism offenses within a 60 day period would be guilty of a Class H felony.
HOUSE BILL 570, Facilitate Successful Reentry, has been approved by the General Assembly
and sent to Governor Pat McCrory for his signature.
HOUSE BILL 574, Opossum Exclusion From Wildlife Laws, was passed by the Senate and
returned to the House for consideration of the Senate changes. If the House does not accept the
Senate changes, members from both the House and Senate will be appointed to attempt to reach
an agreement on the bill.
HOUSE BILL 595, Military Experience/LEO Cert. Requirements, has been approved by the
General Assembly and sent to Governor Pat McCrory for his signature.
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Weekly Legislative Report
North Carolina Sheriffs’ Association
May 29, 2015
HOUSE BILL 640, Outdoor Heritage Act, has passed the Senate Committee on
Agriculture/Environment/Natural Resources with amendments, and has passed the Senate. It will
be returned to the House for consideration of the Senate changes. This bill was amended to
prohibit hunting with a firearm on Sunday before noon.
HOUSE BILL 691, Assault on National Guard Member, was passed by the Senate and returned
to the House for consideration of the Senate changes. If the House does not accept the Senate
changes, members from both the House and Senate will be appointed to attempt to reach an
agreement on the bill. This bill has been placed on the calendar for a vote in the House on
Monday, June 1, 2015. This bill was amended and would add the crime of assaulting a member
of the North Carolina National Guard in the criminal law statute which prohibits assaults on a
law enforcement officer, probation officer, parole officer, or a person employed at a state or local
detention facility. The previous version of the bill placed the crime in the statute which relates to
assault on firefighters, emergency medical technicians, medical responders, and emergency
department personnel.
The bill was also amended and would provide for three separate types of assaults on members of
the North Carolina National Guard:
1. Assault inflicting serious bodily injury on a member while he/she is discharging or
attempting to discharge his/her official duties would be a Class F felony.
2. Assault inflicting physical injury on the member while he/she is discharging or
attempting to discharge his/her official duties would be a Class I felony.
3. Assault with a firearm on a member while he/she is discharging or attempting to
discharge his/her official duties would be a Class E felony.
HOUSE BILL 879, Juvenile Code Reform, has been approved by the General Assembly and sent
to Governor Pat McCrory for his signature.
HOUSE BILL 909, ABC Omnibus Legislation, has passed the Senate Committee on Commerce
with amendments, has passed the Senate Committee on Finance with amendments, has passed a
second vote in the Senate, and has been placed on the calendar for a vote in the Senate on
Monday, June 1, 2015. This bill was amended and would make numerous changes to the
alcoholic beverage control statutes. Among these changes:
1.
An “antique spirituous liquor” permit would be authorized to be issued to a holder of
a mixed beverages permit allowing the permit holder to sell at retail antique
spirituous liquor for use in mixed beverages for consumption on premises. Antique
spirituous liquor would be defined as spirituous liquor that has not been in production
or bottled in the last 20 years, is in the original manufacturer’s unopened container, is
not owned by a distillery, and is not otherwise available for purchase by an Alcoholic
Beverage Control (ABC) Board except through a special order process.
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Weekly Legislative Report
North Carolina Sheriffs’ Association
May 29, 2015
2.
It would be unlawful for any person to manufacture, sell, transport, import, deliver,
furnish, consume, or possess “powdered alcohol.” Powdered alcohol would be
defined as any powder or crystalline substance capable of being converted into a
liquid alcoholic beverage fit for human consumption.
3.
The Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians tribal alcoholic beverage control commission
would have the exclusive authority to issue alcoholic beverage permits to qualified
applicants for use on Indian Country lands.
4.
Distillery permit holders would be allowed to sell spirituous liquor distilled at the
distillery in closed containers to visitors who tour the distillery for consumption off
the premises if the distillery manufactures less than 100,000 proof gallons per year.
5.
On-premises and off-premises unfortified wine permittees would be authorized to sell
unfortified wine dispensed from a tap into a sanitized and resealable container for
consumption off the premises.
SENATE BILL 2, Magistrates Recusal for Civil Ceremonies, has been approved by the General
Assembly and was sent to Governor McCrory for his signature. This bill has been vetoed by
Governor Pat McCrory and will be returned to the General Assembly to see if there are sufficient
votes to override the veto.
The Weekly Legislative Report is provided at no charge as a service to the sheriffs,
criminal justice community and citizens of North Carolina.
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