Status of Several NC Bills

Some interesting and controversial bills are being passed around House and Senate this month. Here is a short overview:

  • Anti-LEED Bill (House Bill 628) On May 13, 2013, the NC House of Representatives passed the third reading of the Anti-LEED Bill. House Bill 628 with the title Promote/Protect Lumber is intended to protect North Carolina timber producers by requiring that “sustainable building standards not disadvantage or forbid the use of building materials produced in this state” for major public facility construction and renovation projects. At the same time this is the end of the rating system LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design), because the tree farms aren’t FSC-certified (Forest Stewardship Council). 
  • The “Tesla” Bill (Senate Bill 327)This bill intends to block car manufacturers from selling vehicles directly to the consumer online or by phone. It’s quite obvious that this bill shoots against the electric car manufacturer Tesla, because it does not have a license or a dealership and does not fall under the protection of the Department of Motor Vehicles. The bill unanimously passed the Senate. 
  • Speed Limits Bill (Senate Bill 709)This bill zoomed trough the committee and the full Senate 45-1 without big debate. Republican Senator Neil Hunt proposed to raise the top speed limit on North Carolina highways to 75 mph. He knows first hand what it means to go faster than the law allows, judging by his five speeding tickets between 1988 and 1998. At least the new legal limit might help him and other speed demons escape the radar gun. 
  • Workers Bill (House Bill 872)
    This bill wants to prohibit state contracts requiring (sub-)contractors to hire union labor. The goal is to protect the right to work of any workers in North Carolina. It just passed the House and is likely to approved by the Senate as well. 

Some of the bills already found their way through the House and the Senate and became law by the signature of the Governor. For example, the “Federal Health Care Law” was one of the first bills this year to pass the House and Senate and was signed by the Governor. This new law prevents the state from adding more low-income people to Medicaid and blocks the implementation of a state-based health insurance exchange under federal law.

Another example is Gov. Pat McCrory’s “Unemployment Insurance Reform Bill”, which the House and Senate quickly approved in order to pay down the state’s debt more quickly. This bill cuts unemployment benefits in two ways: it reduces the amount of weekly benefits, as well as the duration that these benefits are paid. 

We will continue to keep you updated on the status.

Autor: Leonie Hochstetter Legal Trainee/Rechtsreferendarin BridgehouseLaw Charlotte
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und viele Grüße aus Charlotte
Reinhard von Hennigs