by Brian Clarey and Jordan Green
The Guilford and Forsyth County delegations in the North Carolina legislature comprise just 16 individuals — five senators out of 50, 11 representatives out of 43 — a small percentage to represent the third-largest population center in the state.
Some were incredibly active — Rep. Pricey Harrison (D-Guilford) put her name on 322 bills this session. Some were incredibly effective, such as Rep. John Faircloth (R-Guilford), who saw about half of his 107 bills make it through to the Senate and eight of them already passed into law.
The power trickled down from Senate President Phil Berger (R-Guilford, Rockingham) and those close to him: Rep. Jon Hardister (R-Guilford), the latter of whose 75 bills fared well in the process, and Sen. Trudy Wade (R-Guilford), who only signed on to the 19 bills she sponsored and rarely worked with her Guilford and Forsyth counterparts.
Others seemed left out in the cold.
Sen. Joyce Kraweic (R-Forsyth) seemed to have trouble connecting with her party’s leadership — of her 96 bills, most were referred to the Rules Committee, where such things often go to quietly die. Sen. Paul Lowe (D-Forsyth) and his counterpart in Guilford, Sen. Gladys Robinson (D), filed few bills — 46 and 40, respectively — almost all relegated to committee. Rep. John Blust (R-Guilford) and Rep. Julia Howard (R-Forsyth) have been around the House the longest, with nine terms and 15 terms respectively, yet were among the least active, with fewer than 40 bills apiece. Relative newcomers Rep. Cecil Brockman (D-Guilford) and Rep. Ed Hanes (D-Forsyth) had more success by reaching across party lines to file legislation with their Republican counterparts.
The process is still moving forward. Of all the legislation proposed and debated this term, just 21 have been signed into law by Gov. Roy Cooper, with eight more awaiting either his signature or veto, which has been use four times so far this term.
It’s a confusing process — sometimes, it seems, deliberately so. But the overwhelming impression from the data is that it’s hard to get a law passed. And that’s probably a good thing.
Committee assignments: Senate president pro tem; chair, Joint Legislative Commission on Governmental Operations; chair, Legislative Services Commission
- Senate Resolution 680 — Honor Mark Binker, Former Capitol Reporter
Berger was the sole sponsor of this bill — just one of two he worked on this year — that honored former News & Record and WRAL reporter Mark Binker, who died suddenly in April at the age of 43. Don’t let the small number of bills filed by Berger fool you: As president pro tem of the Senate, he’s the most powerful lawmaker in the state, and no legislation comes up for a vote on the Senate floor without his approval. Status: Passed Senate by unanimous vote and adopted.
SEN. TRUDY WADE
(R-GUILFORD), DISTRICT 27
About the district: Wade’s district begins in the northeast corner of Guilford County and wraps around Greensboro, circumventing central High Point and picking up a few Greensboro precincts in the northwest.
Committee assignments: Co-chair, Appropriations on Agriculture, Natural and Economic Resources; co-chair, Commerce and Insurance; Agriculture/Environment/Natural Resources; Finance; Rules; Select Committee on Elections; Select Committee on Nominations
- SB 136 — Restore Partisan Elections, Superior & District Court (with Krawiec)
It does exactly what it says — makes judicial races in superior and district courts partisan, meaning a primary election will decide which Democrat goes against which Republican. Superior court elections were switched to nonpartisan contests in 1996; district court made the change in 2001. Status: Passed the House and Senate. Vetoed by Gov. Roy Cooper. Veto overridden by both chambers, and ratified as law.
- SB 343 — Legal Notices/Newsprint Employees
Wade, who has had a troubled relationship with the legitimate media, takes dead aim on city dailies and community weeklies with this bill, which waives a requirement for county governments to post their legal notices in paid-circulation newspapers, redefining the types of papers that can accept the ads. Four counties — Buncombe, Durham, Forsyth and Guilford — would be allowed to post their legal notices on the county website in lieu of paid print publication. Status: Passed Senate by vote of 30 to 19. Received a favorable recommendation from House Rules Committee and referred to House Finance Committee.
- SB 480 — Protection From Government Overreach Act
The bill caps all single-project spending by city councils, county commissions, school boards or any other government agency at $100 million, after which the projects would need legislative approval. It includes a neat little clause in Section 3: “An agency authorized to implement and enforce state and federal environmental laws may not adopt a permanent rule for the protection of the environment or natural resources that imposes a more restrictive standard, limitation, or requirement than those imposed by federal law.” Status: Referred to Senate Rules Committee.
SEN. GLADYS ROBINSON
(D-GUILFORD), DISTRICT 28
About the district: Robinson’s minority-majority district covers about two-thirds of Greensboro and extends into central High Point.
Committee assignments: Healthcare; Education/Higher Education; Finance; Health and Human Services; Appropriations on Health and Human Services; Appropriations/Base Budget; Select Committee on Nominations
Bills: 40 (including 13 as primary sponsor)
- SB 83 — Raise Awareness of Lupus
It’s tough to be a Democrat in the NC Senate these days. For example, Sen. Robinson could not get a bill passed to recognize May as Lupus Month. Status: Referred to Senate Rules Committee.
- SB 173 — Housing Juveniles Under 18 in County Facility (with Lowe)
With a few exceptions, this one keeps children away from adults in county jails, requiring a separate facility for minors. Status: Referred to Senate Rules Committee.
- SB 198 — Study Efficacy of Film Credit Versus Grant (with Lowe)
A generous tax credit for the film industry was replaced with a grant system in 2014, resulting in far fewer productions in the state. The study would compare return on investment for the two approaches. Status: Referred to Senate Rules Committee.
- SB 259 — Restore Master’s Degree Pay for All Teachers
Brings back the “M” salary schedule for graduate degrees, with a bonus for PhD, stricken from state law in 2013. Status: Referred to Senate Rules Committee.
- SB 554 — Fair Redistricting/Postmark & Absentee Ballots
Ensures that absentee ballots received the day after an election that have been properly postmarked will get counted, and establishes a committee on fair redistricting. Status: Referred to Senate Rules Committee.
SEN. JOYCE KRAWIEC
(R-FORSYTH, YADKIN), DISTRICT 31
About the district: D-31 covers the suburban/rural doughnut of Forsyth County, including parts of Lewisville, Clemmons and Kernersville, along with affluent, Republican-leaning neighborhoods like Buena Vista on the west side and portions of Ardmore and areas around Baptist Hospital in the southwest. The district also covers the entirety of Yadkin County.
Committee assignments: Co-chair, Appropriations on Health and Human Services; co-chair, Health Care; Education/Higher Education; Finance; Transportation
Bills: 96 (including 48 as primary sponsor)
- SB 530 — Protect Government Whistleblowers
Carves out an exemption from North Carolina public records law for emails and other communications by government workers about improper activities of any government agency to a regulatory body, and ensures immunity from civil liability for whistleblower report made in good faith by a government employee to a regulatory body. Status: Referred to Senate Rules Committee.
- SB 425 — Unborn Child Protection From Dismemberment Act
Would ban the “Dilation and Evacuation” method of abortions, which is typicallyused in the second trimester of pregnancy. Status: Referred to Senate Rules Committee.
- SB 190 — Haley Hayes Newborn Screening Bill (with Lambeth)
Adds a screening for Pompe disease — “a rare, heritable disorder that causes progressive muscle weakness” — to the state’s newborn screening program, while appropriating $2.7 million to purchase lab equipment and increasing the fee for the newborn screening program from $44 to $55 to offset the cost of the new test. Status: Referred to Senate Rules Committee.
- SB 313 — Increase Small Brewery Limits
Increases the number of barrels a small brewer can self-distribute from less than 25,000 to 103,091 barrels. Status: Referred to Senate Rules Committee.
SEN. PAUL LOWE JR.
(D-FORSYTH), DISTRICT 32
About the district: D-32 covers almost all of Winston-Salem, with the exception of a carve-out of affluent, Republican-leaning neighborhoods like Buena Vista along the Country Club Road corridor, as well as with more liberal-leaning areas of Ardmore in the city’s southwest quadrant. The district trails Business 40 to the east and picks up the heart of Kernersville.
Committee assignments: Appropriations on Health and Human Services; Appropriations/Base Budget; Health Care; Judiciary; Rules and Operations of the Senate
Bills: 46 (including 22 as primary sponsor)
- SB 146 — Juvenile Reinvestment Act
Would raise the age of juvenile jurisdiction so that 16- and 17-year-olds are no longer tried as adults, with limited exceptions. New York recently raised the age of jurisdiction, making North Carolina the only state in the union that currently tries 16- and 17-year-olds as adults. Status: Referred to Senate Rules Committee. (A similar bill passed the House by a vote of 104-8, and is also being considered by the Senate Rules Committee.)
- SB 646 — Universal Voter Registration
Provides for automatic voter registration at driver’s license offices, public agencies, and community colleges and universities. Status: Referred to Senate Rules Committee.
- SB 358 — Film & Entertainment Grant Fund Appropriation
Appropriates $55 million for film and television production incentives. Status: Referred to Senate Appropriations/Base Budget Committee.
- SB 197 — Adopt Bobcat as State Cat
An act “to bring about awareness of this magnificent and beneficial animal,” which preys on rabbits and mice, and is most active at dawn and dusk. Status: The House version of the bill passed by a vote of 107 to 5, and has been referred to Senate Rules Committee.
REP. PRICEY HARRISON
(D-GUILFORD), DISTRICT 57
About the district: Covers the northeast sector of Greensboro, extending to the northeast along Highway 29 and along the Interstate 85/40 corridor to Sedalia. There’s significant racial diversity in the D-57, with a majority black population.
Committee assignments: Vice-chair, Environment Commission; Alcoholic Beverage Control; Appropriations; Appropriations, Agriculture and Natural and Economic Resources; Elections and Ethics Law; Energy and Public Utilities; Judiciary II; Regulatory Reform
Bills: 322 (including 43 as primary sponsor)
- HB 185 — Legalize Medical Marijuana
“This Article is intended to make only those changes to existing North Carolina laws that are necessary to protect patients and their doctors from criminal and civil penalties and is not intended to change current civil and criminal laws governing the use of cannabis for nonmedical purposes.” Status: Referred to House Rules Committee.
- HB 238 — Economic Security Act of 2017
Raises the minimum wage across the state over five years to $15, mandates equal pay and sick leave, restores the childcare and earned-income tax credits while repealing limitations to collective bargaining, and contains a “ban the box” clause, meaning prospective employees cannot ask about a candidate’s criminal history on an initial application. Status: Referred to House Rules Committee.
- HB 366 — Retail Workers Bill of Rights
Asks for fair scheduling for retail workers: two weeks of notice for work schedules, extra pay for on-call shifts and schedule changes, equal treatment for part-time employees, access to time off and a protection from retaliation for workers trying to enforce these rights. Status: Referred to House Rules Committee.
- HB 500 — ABC Omnibus Legislation (with Hardister)
This is the so-called Brunch Bill, allowing restaurants to serve alcohol before noon on weekends. It also makes it easier to serve alcoholic beverages both on and off premises, amends some homebrewing laws, allows brewers and distillers to offer tastes on their premises during tours and increases the amount they are able to sell on premises. Among its myriad other provisions is a piece allowing farmers who grow hops or barley to serve beer, even in dry counties. Status: Passed in House by a vote of 95 to 25, and referred to Senate Commerce and Insurance Committee.
- HB 525 — Amending Body-Worn Camera Procedures (with Quick and Brockman)
Allows the release of police body-camera footage to people in the recording or their representatives, or by “a governing body with the consent of the city manager, upon a finding that disclosure is necessary to maintain public confidence in law enforcement agencies.” Status: Referred to Judiciary I Committee.
- HB 687 — Amend Various Coal-Ash Provisions (with Quick)
In direct response to Duke Energy’s penchant for tacking the costs of coal-ash cleanup on its consumers, this bill prohibits “an electric public utility from recovering costs related to the management of coal combustion ash and unlawful discharges from coal ash ponds.” Status: Referred to House Rules Committee.
- HB 723 — Gun Safety Act
Repeals “stand your ground” laws, institutes background checks for gun ownership, requires liability coverage for all gun owners, limits magazine sizes, divests state funds from gun-related investments and requires law enforcement to have written policies regarding officer-involved deaths, among other provisions. Status: Referred to House Judiciary I Committee.
- House Bill 724 — Citizens United Disclosures (with Brockman)
Requires state corporations to subject campaign donations to shareholder vote. Status: Referred to House Rules Committee.
- HB 734 — In-State Tuition Equity
Ensures that all graduates of state high schools are eligible for in-state tuition, regardless of immigration status. Status: Referred to House Rules Committee.
REP. AMOS QUICK III
(D-GUILFORD), DISTRICT 58
About the district: This minority-majority district covers sweeping portions of southeast Greensboro and a swath around Friendly Center and Starmount.
Committee assignments: Appropriations; Appropriations, Capital; Commerce and Job Development; Education K-12; Judiciary III; and Homelessness, Foster Care and Dependency
Bills: 117 (including 15 as primary sponsor)
- HB 99 — The Antidiscrimination Act of 2017 (with Brockman)
“An act to (1) prohibit the use of discriminatory profiling by law enforcement officers in the performance of their duties; (2) amend the types of information required to be reported by certain law enforcement agencies concerning traffic law enforcement; (3) require certain law enforcement agencies to report certain information concerning homicides; and (4) require law enforcement officers to receive annual education and training concerning discriminatory profiling.” Status: Referred to House Judiciary III Committee.
- HB 165 — Citizens Review Boards Established (with Brockman and Harrison)
Authorizes citizens’ review boards for municipal and county law enforcement, with subpoena power. Status: Referred to House State and Local Government I Committee.
- HB 453 — ‘We The People’ Act/Referendum
“An act to submit to the voters of North Carolina a referendum urging Congress to pass an amendment to the Constitution of the United States declaring that Constitutional rights belong only to individuals and not to corporations or other artificial entities and that constitutionally protected free speech excludes the unlimited spending of money on political campaign contributions.” Status: Referred to House Rules Committee.
- HB 874 — Year-Round School Pilot (with Brockman and Lambeth)
Allows up to five elementary schools per district to be year-round for high-need students. Status: Referred to House Appropriations Committee.
REP. JON HARDISTER
(R-GUILFORD), DISTRICT 59
About the district: Hardister’s eastern Guilford district circles around Greensboro, hooking in for just a few precincts on the northwestern corner of the city.
Committee assignments: Majority whip; chair, Appropriations, Capital; vice-chair, Appropriations; vice-chair, Alcoholic Beverage Control; vice-chair, Banking; Appropriations, Information Technology; Education K-12; Elections and Ethics Law; Rules
Bills: 75 (including 47 as primary sponsor)
- HB 2 — Provide Certain Property Tax Relief (with Brockman and Harrison)
This HB 2 cuts property taxes for veteran and emergency-services personnel and allows for the state to cover the difference for the counties’ lost revenue. Status: Passed House by unanimous vote, and referred to Senate Rules Committee.
- HB182 — Leadership Term Limits (with Blust)
“An act to amend the North Carolina Constitution to limit the speaker of the House of Representatives and the president pro tempore of the Senate to serve for four consecutive two‑year terms in those offices.” Status: Received favorable vote from House Judiciary I Committee, and referred to House Rules Committee.
- HB 200 — Non-Partisan Redistricting Commission (with Brockman, Faircloth, Hanes, Harrison, Quick and Terry)
This bill attempts to remove political operatives from the redistricting process with an independent panel. Status: Referred to House Rules Committee.
- HB 279 — Fantasy Sports Regulation (with Hanes)
Would require fantasy sports contests, online and otherwise, to register with the state so that people from North Carolina could play. Tucked into the end is a provision that allows ALE officers to make arrest for any criminal offense, not just alcohol infractions. Status: Referred to House Judiciary IV Committee.
- HB 285 — Suicide Prevention/Awareness School Personnel (with Brockman, Faircloth, Hanes, Harrison, and Lambeth)
Helps school set a protocol for suicide prevention. Status: Passed the House by a vote of 109 to 7, and referred to Senate Rules Committee.
- HB 540 — Teachers & State Employees Pay Raise (with Brockman, Harrison and Quick)
Gives a $2,400 pay increase to teachers and state employees earning less than $100,000. Status: Referred to House Appropriations Committee.
- HB 571 — Automatic Expunction/Wrongful Conviction (with Hanes, Quick, Brockman, Harrison and Terry)
“An act to provide for the automatic expunction of a person’s record if the person is wrongly convicted, incarcerated, and exonerated.” Status: Passed House by a unanimous vote, and referred to Senate Rules Committee.
- HB 644 — Charter School Transportation Grant Program (with Brockman and Conrad)
Uses funds from the Department of Public Instruction to pay for transportation to charter schools for low-income students. Status: Received a favorable vote in House Transportation Committee and referred to Appropriations.
- HB 827 — Use of Passing Lane/Increased Penalty
Imposes a $200 fine for driving too slow in the passing lane. Status: Received favorable votes in House Transportation Committee and House Judiciary I Committee. It’s on the calendar for a final vote this week.
- HB 887 — Health Insurance State Mandates Study/Funds (with Lambeth)
This creates a joint legislative committee “to study all health insurance mandated coverage requirements imposed by the state upon health insurance sold in North Carolina.” Status: Referred to House Health Care Reform Committee.
REP. CECIL BROCKMAN
(D-GUILFORD), DISTRICT 60
About the district: The majority-minority D-60 takes great pains to encapsulate African-American voters, starting in Greensboro straddling Wendover Avenue, moving southeast and then crossing through Jamestown and Sedgefield in a slim little peninsula before ballooning again in central High Point.
Committee assignments: Vice-chair, Education K-12; Agriculture; Appropriations; Appropriations, Capital; Appropriations, Education; Environment; Homeland Security, Military and Veterans Affairs
Bills: 202 (including 21 as primary sponsor)
- HB 233 — Ban the Box (with Harrison, Quick and Terry)
The bill helps those convicted of crimes to obtain employment in the public sector. It states that state, city, county and other public employers cannot ask about an applicant’s criminal record until a conditional offer has been made, or have a box to check on an application. Status: Referred to House Rules Committee.
- HB 573 — Vacant Building Receivership (with Blust and Faircloth)
“An act authorizing municipalities to petition the superior court to appoint a receiver to rehabilitate, demolish, or sell a vacant building, structure, or dwelling where the owner has failed to comply with an order to do so and to charge the owner an administrative fee.” Status: Passed the House by a vote of 113 to 2, and referred to Senate Rules Committee.
- HB 643 — Civics and Economics Education Study Committee (with Hardister and Terry)
The bill creates group to study the benefits of teaching civics and financial literacy in schools. Status: Referred to House Rules Committee.
- HB 782 — Paid Holiday/Primary and General Elections (with Harrison)
Establishes a day off on Election Day so people can vote. Status: Referred to House Elections and Ethics Law Committee.
- HB 891 — Free Breakfast and Lunch in K-12 Public Schools (with Quick and Harrison)
Establishes a fund for free breakfast and lunch, and moves the program from the Department of Agriculture to the Department of Public Instruction. Status: Referred to House Appropriations Committee.
REP. JOHN FAIRCLOTH
(R-GUILFORD), DISTRICT 61
About the district: D-61 wraps around Brockman’s High Point precincts, capturing the outskirts of the city and wending east through rural areas in Jamestown, Summerfield and Pleasant Garden.
Committee assignments: Chair, Appropriations; chair, Ethics; vice-chair, Judiciary II, chairs, Joint Legislative Emergency Management Oversight Committee; chair, Legislative Ethics Committee; member, Elections and Ethics Law; State Personnel; Transportation
Bills: 107 (including 31 as primary sponsor)
- HB 117 — Protect Students in Schools
This requires criminal background checks for school staff and waives a requirement for written notice for an administrator to suspend a teacher without pay in cases of arrest. Status: Received favorable vote in House Education K-12 Committee and referred to Finance.
- HB 138 — Revise Gang Laws
This one standardizes statewide definitions of gang members and behavior, enhances sentences for gang-related convictions and removes the word “street” as a qualifier for “gang” from many passages of statutes. Status: Passed House by a vote of 109 to 4. Received a favorable vote in in Senate Judiciary Committee and referred to Rules.
- HB 315 — Kelsey Smith Act
Police can obtain cell-phone records from wireless providers without a warrant “only in an emergency situation that involves an imminent risk of death or serious physical harm,” and the carrier will not be held civilly liable. Status: Passed House by a vote of 113 to 5, and referred to Senate Rules Committee.
- HB 413 — Limit Legislative Service to 16 years
It’s an amendment to the state constitution. Status: Referred to House Rules Committee.
- HB 711 — Increase Hate Crime Punishment
This establishes the qualified groups for hate crimes as race, color, religion, age, nationality or country of origin, disability, military or veteran status, employment status, socioeconomic status, political affiliation, or association with any of these groups. Gender identity does not make the list. Status: Referred to House Judiciary I Committee.
- HB 823 — Adult Adoptee/Access Original Birth Certificate (with Harrison)
After 40 years of age, adult adoptees can get their original birth certificates from the state registrar. Status: Passed the House by a unanimous vote, and referred to Senate Rules Committee.
REP. JOHN BLUST
(R-GUILFORD), DISTRICT 62
About the district: D-62 covers the northwest corner of Guilford County, with precincts in Oak Ridge, Stokesdale, Colfax, Summerfield, High Point and Greensboro.
Committee assignments: Chair, Judiciary II; vice-chair, Finance; Banking; Elections and Ethics Law; Homeland Security, Military and Veterans Affairs; Pensions and Retirement, Rules
Terms: 9, one in the Senate
Bills: 35 (including 20 as primary sponsor)
- HB 249 — Economic Terrorism (with Faircloth)
This bill creates the crime of “economic terrorism,” which includes acts — violent or otherwise — intended to influence civilian and government action. This includes traffic obstruction and other public protests, and compels mayors by law to have all participants arrested. Status: Referred to House Judiciary II Committee.
- HB 412 — UNC Public Records/Athletic Conferences
“An act to provide that communications and other documentary material possessed by the University of North Carolina or any of its constituent institutions regarding membership in the NCAA in the ACC or other conferences, or in any other collegiate sports association or organization are public records.” It’s a response to the HB 2 stuff. Status: The Senate version of the bill passed by a vote of 37 to 12, and has been referred to the House Rules Committee.
- HB 735 — Redistricting by computer (with Harrison)
Forms an independent redistricting commission, with new districts created using software with “politically neutral criteria.” Status: Referred to House Rules Committee.
- HB 758 — Voter Integrity
Clarifies requirements to vote and gives citizen “election observers” more leeway at polling places. “The observer shall be authorized to be present and move about the voting place prior to, during, and following the closing of the polls until the chief judge and judges have completed all of their duties. The observer shall be permitted to observe precinct officials checking voter registration from a position that allows an observer to clearly hear and understand voter responses.” Status: Referred to House Elections and Ethics Law Committee.
REP. EVELYN TERRY
(D-FORSYTH), DISTRICT 71
About the district: D-71 covers the southeast quadrant of Winston-Salem, but also includes a narrow, westward corridor hugging Business 40 and reaching to Hanes Mall Boulevard.
Committee assignments: Vice-chair, Homelessness, Foster Care and Dependency; Appropriations; Appropriations, Transportation; Commerce and Job Development; Environment; Ethics
Bills: 108 (including 11 as primary sponsor)
- HB 892 — Free Lunch for Some Students/Stop Lunch Shame (with Brockman)
Appropriates $5 million to make school lunches free for students who currently qualify for reduced-price lunch while prohibiting public schools from publicly identifying students who can’t pay or owe a meal debt by wearing a bracelet or hand stamp. Also prohibits public schools from requiring students to do chores to pay off a meal debt. Status: Referred to House Appropriation Committee.
- HB 368 — Block MV Reg./Unpaid Parking Fines in W-S (with Hanes)
Requires the state Division of Motor Vehicles to refuse to register a vehicle if the city of Winston-Salem notifies the agency that the owner has failed to pay their parking fines. Status: Referred to House State and Local Government I Committee.
- HB 246 — Forsyth Tech Multicampus Funds (with Conrad, Lambeth and Hanes)
Appropriates $526,119 in recurring annual funds to operate the Transportation Technology Center at Forsyth Tech. Status: Referred to House Appropriations Committee.
- HB 102 — NC Adopt Equal Rights Amendment
Would ratify the Equal Rights Amendment to the US Constitution guaranteeing equal rights for women and men regardless of sex. Status: Referred to House Rules Committee.
REP. ED HANES
(D-FORSYTH), DISTRICT 72
About the district: Covering the northern urban portion of Winston-Salem, D-72 is bisected by University Parkway, a racial and economic dividing line in the city. The district includes Smith Reynolds Airport and Wake Forest University.
Committee assignments: Vice-chair, Energy and Public Utilities; Alcoholic Beverage Control; Education, Universities; Ethics; Finance; Health Care Reform; Insurance; Rules, Calendar and Operations of the House
Bills: 94 (including 28 as primary sponsor)
- HB 170 — Pilot/Sports for Students With Disabilities (with Lambeth)
Allows the state Department of Public Instruction to use up to $300,000 to develop and implement a pilot program to enhance extracurricular athletics for students with disabilities with the goal of overcoming barriers and empowering students. Status: Referred to House Appropriations Committee.
- HB 247 — Limit Soldiers’ Community College Tuition
Would ensure that the cost of out-of-state tuition for community college does not exceed available federal tuition assistance for active-duty service members who were unable to continue their studies because of deployment. Status: Referred to House Appropriations Commission.
- HB 136 — Lower Compulsory Attendance Age from 7 to 6 (with Lambeth)
Would lower the age at which a child is required to attend school from 7 to 6. Status: Referred to House Education-K-12 Committee.
REP. DEBRA CONRAD
(R-FORSYTH), DISTRICT 74
About the district: D-74 covers the northern portion of the suburban-rural doughnut of Forsyth County, including Tobaccoville, Rural Hall and Belews Creek. The district also reaches a finger into affluent, Republican-leaning areas of Winston-Salem south of Robinhood Road.
Committee assignments: Chair, Commerce and Job Development; chair, Education, K-12; Appropriations; Appropriations, Education; Banking; Elections and Ethics Law; Judiciary III; State and Local Government I
Bills: 59 (including 27 as primary sponsor)
- HB 113 — Pvt. Action Local Compliance/Immigration Laws
Allows anyone residing within the jurisdiction of a city, county or law enforcement agency that they believe is not in compliance with state immigration laws to file for injunctive relief in superior court. Would allow a judge to fine cities, counties and law enforcement agencies found to be not in compliance with immigration law up to $10,000 per day. Status: Passed the House by a vote of 65 to 48, and referred to Senate Rules Committee.
- HB 35 — Protect North Carolina Workers Act
The bill amends North Carolina’s E-verify program, which uses information from federal agencies ensure that employers are not hiring people who are not authorized to work in the United States due to their immigration status. Specifically, the bill ends an exemption for temporary employees, while adding an exemption for farmworkers. Status: Passed the House by a vote of 81 to 39, and referred to Senate Rules Committee.
- HB 37 — Protect Law Enforcement Officers
Protects state and local law enforcement officers from retaliation if they report lawbreaking, fraud, misappropriation of funds, danger to public health and safety, and gross mismanagement. Status: Passed the House by a vote of 65 to 47, and referred to Senate Rules Committee.
REP. DONNY LAMBETH
(R-FORSYTH), DISTRICT 75
About the district: D-75 covers much of the southern portion of the suburban-rural doughnut of Forsyth County, including Clemmons and a wide swatch of the county’s southeastern corner that also covers outlying areas of Kernersville. The district also extends a digit into Winston-Salem from the southwest covering Hanes Mall and the Ardmore neighborhood.
Committee assignments: Chair, Health; chair, Health Care Reform; chair, Aging; Appropriations; Education, Universities; Insurance; Pensions and Retirement; State Personnel
Bills: 93 (including 36 as primary sponsor)
- HB 883 — Increase Inmate Health Care
Requires North Carolina jails and prisons to establish a health information exchange to share inmates’ medical history, including their condition and treatment, medical tests, prescribed medications, and other special medical needs. Status: Referred to House Appropriations Committee.
- HB 435 — Raise Minimum Age to Access Tobacco Products
Would gradually raise the minimum age for the purchase of tobacco products, vapor products and cigarette wrapping papers from 18 to 21, with an exception for active-duty military. Status: Referred to House Rules Committee.
- HB 387 — Corner Store Initiative (with Quick)
Also called the Healthy Food Small Retailer Act, it’s designed to combat food deserts by establishing a fund that helps bring fresh food to existing businesses. Status: Referred to House Agriculture Committee.
- HB 46 — Allison’s Law/GPS Tracking Pilot Program (with Conrad, Terry and Hanes)
Establishes a pilot program in Forsyth County conducted through a partnership between the state Department of Public Safety and local law enforcement agencies to place GPS tracking devices on domestic violence offenders, with the offenders paying for the cost of the program. Status: Referred to House Appropriations Committee and House Judiciary IV Committee.
REP. JULIA HOWARD
(R-FORSYTH, DAVIE), DISTRICT 79
About the district: D-79 includes the western tip of Forsyth County, including Lewisville, along with the entirety of Davie County.
Committee assignments: Chair, Banking; chair, Joint Legislative Oversight Committee on Unemployment Insurance; Aging; Commerce and Job Development; Finance, Health, Insurance; Judiciary I
Bills: 38 (including 30 as primary sponsor)
- HB 48 — Legislator-Lobbyist Reform Act (with Faircloth)
Increases the “cooling off” period during which a former lawmaker may not register as a lawmaker from six months to one year. Status: Referred to House Rules Committee.
- HB 54 — Protect the Hardworking Taxpayers Act
Removes the limitation on the income tax deduction for the mortgage expense and property tax. The Fiscal Research Division estimates the change would cost the state $63 million to $70 million in 2017-2018 and up to $104 million by 2021-2022. Status: Referred to House Finance Committee.
- HB 196 — Zip Lines/Challenge Courses/Sanders’ Law
Requires zip-line operators to be certified through the state Labor Department and to submit to periodic state inspections. Status: Received a favorable vote in House Judiciary I Committee and referred to House Finance Committee.
- HB 374 — Business Freedom Act
Streamlines regulations for employing teenagers and other changes to reduce burdens on businesses. Status: Passed House by a unanimous vote, and referred to Senate Finance Committee.
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