Greetings from Raleigh, I hope everyone is staying cool during the hot days of summer. As Independence Day approaches we remember that on July 4th, 1776, the Declaration of Independence was approved by the Continental Congress, starting the 13 colonies on the road to freedom as a sovereign nation. As always, this most American of holidays will be marked by parades, fireworks and backyard barbecues across North Carolina and the Country. I want to thank our servicemen as today’s military and America’s veterans embody the ideals upon which America was founded 236 years ago.
U.S. Supreme Court
Health Care Decision
On Thursday, July 28, the U.S. Supreme Court upheld the Affordable Care Act, including the individual mandate which requires citizens to have a minimum level of coverage. The N.C. Senate does not intend to take up the Health Care Exchange bill this session. The General Assembly needs time to process and understand this mixed ruling on the Affordable Care Act.
Senate action this week:
HB 950 - Modify 2011 Appropriations Act
The budget has been sitting on Gov. Perdue’s desk for seven days now. She has until Sunday to sign or veto the bill. However, if the governor does neither,the bill will automatically become law.
SB 749/S.L. 2012-78 - Various Motor Vehicle Law Changes
This bill contains a few significant changes to motor vehicle laws as it relates to the agricultural community. First, it expands commodities that can be hauled without registration from agricultural products such as cotton and peanuts to also include livestock, live poultry, animal waste, water, pesticides and seeds when in conjuncture with agriculture. Along with the first change, a header trailer, when transported to or from a dealer, or after a sale or repair, to the farm or another dealership does not need to have trailer registration. Third, this bill sets up an application process for a farmer to request the ability to drive over-width farm equipment on controlled access highways from the DOT. The final section of this bill deals with weight allowances in two different ways: It adds commodities such as meats, livestock and poultry to an exemption list for light traffic roads. As well as combining agriculture, livestock and forestry into the same weight tolerance class, while at the same time providing those industries several weight/axle options.
HB 1216 - Town of Wallace/Satellite Annexations
This local bill will remove certain restricts on the Town of Wallace, which will allow them to annex a portion of a subdivision that wishes to be annexed into the Town, while leaving the rest of that subdivision alone.