From the desk of Senator Joyce Waddell

Session Recap - December

Joyce Waddell

CHARLOTTE, NC- The General Assembly is expected to have skeleton session awaiting the decisions on bills passed during the session from Governor Roy Cooper. Members could likely come back to consider override votes on any legislation vetoed. The Governor has ten days to veto, sign or allow the bills to become law.

It is unknown if House Bill 1029, Bipartisan State Board Changes could be vetoed. Governor Cooper vetoed Senate Bill 824, Implementation of Voter ID Const. Amendment Friday, Dec. 14th. Governor Roy Cooper stated "Requiring photo ID for in-person voting is a solution in search of a problem. Instead, the real election problem is votes harvested illegally through absentee ballots, which this proposal fails to fix." Finally, the fundamental flaw in the bill is its sinister and cynical origins: It was designed to suppress the rights of minority, poor, and elderly voters. The cost of disenfranchising those voters or any citizens is too high, and the risk of taking away the fundamental right to vote is too great, for this law to take effect. House Speaker Tim Moore said that if Cooper vetoes voter ID, the earliest possible override vote would be Tuesday, Dec. 18th. If Governor Roy Cooper decides to use the full ten-day time frame to veto bills passed Wednesday and Thursday, that could result in legislators returning after Christmas to vote to override vote.

Here is an overview of the new laws passed in the legislative session:

House Bill 1029 (Bipartisan State Board Changes) is an act to make changes to the elections, ethics, and lobbying laws. Includes requiring a primary if a new election is ordered in any election contest. This bill also returns the State Board of Elections and Ethics Enforcement to the organization set in 2016 and removes exemptions from rulemaking for rules adopted by the State Board of Elections, the State Ethics Commission, and rules related to lobbying so that new rules will have to go through the rulemaking process.

Senate Bill 827 (Extend Agricultural Disaster Program Deadline), Session Law 2018- 141, is an act to extend the application period for the Hurricane Florence Agricultural Disaster Program of 2018. A person seeking financial assistance for losses of agricultural commodities or livestock shall submit to the Department a Form 578 on file with the USDA Farm Service Agency or a form provided by the Department for reporting acreage or plantings of crops not typically reported on Form 578, along with any other documentation deemed appropriate by the Department. The updated deadline is now December 20th.

Conference Committee Substitute (CCS) for Senate Bill 469 (Technical Corrections) makes various technical, clarifying, and conforming changes to the General Statutes and Session Laws. The Senate passed SB 828, Technical Corrections, on December 4, 2018 which is now in the House Rules Committee. The CCS for SB 469 includes new provisions to Section 2 of Senate Bill 411 (Various Motor Vehicle Law Revisions), Session Law 2018-42 extending the effective date of legislation to March 2019 related to transfer of title by motor vehicle dealers that do not have a motor vehicle's statement of origin or certificate of title.