A bill placing rules around billboard relocations passed the Senate on Tuesday after senators approved several favorable amendments. HB 645 Revisions to Outdoor Advertising Laws allows billboard owners to relocate signs, pursuant to numerous restrictions, when the removal is prompted by a condemnation action such as for a road widening. Throughout the legislative process, the League has worked to place more restraints on where the signs could be moved during condemnations. The League appreciates the willingness of the primary bill sponsors to include these restrictions. The bill now returns to the House for a concurrence vote.
The Cooper administration is touting its efforts to improve broadband access, even while acknowledging that many rural areas of the state remain without reliable and fast internet connections. State Chief Information Officer Eric Boyette was in Morehead City last week speaking to the Interstate 42 Corridor Commission Board of Directors about state initiatives to improve broadband access, focusing on those included under an executive order signed by Gov. Roy Cooper in March. The executive order’s provisions and other action by the Cooper administration have the potential to both boost and to benefit from local public-private broadband partnerships. The FIBER NC Act, introduced this session with overwhelming bipartisan support, would unlock the ability of local governments to partner with private ISPs to build broadband networks. Read more about Boyette’s discussion here.
-Hemp: After disagreements on a proposal to define non-psychoactive smokable hemp as marijuana, a House committee this week approved a substitute version of SB 315 North Carolina Farm Act of 2019 defining them differently. WRAL coverage of the story includes viewpoints from law enforcement.