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League Bulletin

August 2, 2019

​WHAT HAPPENED: The state budget impasse continued as the legislature further thinned the field of remaining bills in what was otherwise a light week.
WHAT IT MEANS: We're a month into the new fiscal year without a new state budget as Gov. Roy Cooper and Republican legislative leaders continue disagreement over what should be in it​. A veto-override vote remains on the House calendar, though still without enough apparent support from members. Continuation measures from the previous budget and a recent stopgap bill to keep federal funding going are in effect in the meantime. As for bills, we've been tracking what's moving; an update on a Senate bill that would potentially decriminalize local ordinances appears in this Bulletin. The governor has been signing bills​ into law, including an alcoholic beverage regulatory control measure that affords distilleries the same privileges as wineries and craft breweries. He also vetoed a bill on charter school changes.
ON TAP: House District 113 is getting a new face following Cody Henson's resignation from the seat. Local Republican Party officials picked Polk County Commissioner Jake Johnson for the ​​role, a nomination the governor is supposed to approve as a formality. In news coverage​, Johnson said his first priority would be overriding the governor's budget veto.

THE SKINNY: ​​​While there's still business to take care of, this week was a quick one, with the Senate on pause and light lifting in the House. ​Read on for more roundup. ​

A proposal that would potentially decriminalize local ordinances cleared its remaining House votes this week, facing only a Senate concurrence vote before moving to the governor for consideration. As originally passed by the Senate, SB 584 Criminal Law Reform would have decriminalized all local ordinances. However, after extensive discussions with the League and other local government interests, the House modified the bill to allow a way for local governments to keep criminal enforcement measures on the books. Now, the bill would allow every unit of local government to retain criminal enforcement if they submit a report listing all their ordinances punishable by a criminal penalty. If the General Assembly did not receive this report by Nov. 1, 2019, then that local government’s code of ordinances would become enforceable only by civil penalties on and after that date. The legislature instituted this reporting requirement last year, and hundreds of local governments have already complied. (Check for your city or town’s report on the General Assembly's website​). ​

Cedar Point is the latest municipality telling its story of growth and progress at Here We Grow, the popular hub for municipal economic development and quality-of-life updates from communities across North Carolina. The town of about 1,300 residents has secured land for its first municipal park in a voter-approved project to provide not only serenity and recreation land but will also preserve and put new focus on the site's history of Native American and Civil War activity. Mayor Scott Hatsell told the Carteret County News-Times it's a "once in a lifetime opportunity for us to secure this for everyone, forever." Powered by the League and WRAL TechWire​ at, Here We Grow is loaded with original stories from the mountains to the coast tha​​t show how the initiative of cities and towns is bearing economic positives and new magnetism for the state as a whole. Contact to begin telling your local story.

A drone in flight used to be a novel spectacle. But the increasingly popularity of the unmanned aircrafts now has the state seeking public comment on their use. From the N.C. Department of Transportation comes an online survey​ asking respondents' "thoughts and concerns about the current and future applications of drones," a press release says, noting it includes questions about noise, privacy and safety as well as the perceived benefits of drones, including their delivery capabilities. Said Basil Yapp, NCDOT's drone program manager, "We want to make informed decisions based on what people in our state want and what they are concerned about."