Greetings from Raleigh! This General Assembly did great things during the 2012 short session. These include regulatory reform and many bills that were needed in key areas, all while reigning in some of the inefficient spending of the past legislative sessions. Now that the 2012 short session has ended, this column will be coming to you every other week instead of every week and we will focus on bills passed this year.
In memory of:
N.C. State Rep. William Wainwright, who served in the Legislature for more than 20, died Tuesday at age 64. Wainwright first joined the Legislature in 1991 and was elected House speaker pro tempore in 2007, serving that post for four years. “From my experience in working with Rep. Wainwright he was always a gentleman and truly worked hard for the citizens of his district. Debbie and I extend our heartfelt sympathy to his immediate and extended family.”
Wainwright had five children.
HB-821 Allow DOT to Use Recycled Asphalt
Previously the Department of Transportation could not recycle asphalt to be used in new projects even if it met the standards set for new asphalt. This bill that was signed by the Governor on June 7th will correct that and allow the Department of Transportation to use “recycled asphalt, provided that minimum content standards are met and the material meets minimum specifications for the project.” The theory behind this bill is that “it is in the public interest to find alternative ways to use certain recycled materials that currently are part of the solid waste stream and that contribute to problems of declining space in landfills.”
HB-345 Modify Move Over Law
This bill that was signed by the Governor on June 7th adds a vehicle being used to restore utility service, including cable, phone, gas, or utility or is a highway maintenance vehicle owned and operated by the state or local government to “public service vehicle.” When a “public service vehicle” is displaying a warning signal, this will direct motorists to move over or if it is not possible to do so, slow the vehicle speed and be prepared to stop when encountering a “public service vehicle” parked or standing within 12 feet of a roadway.
HB-966 Teacher Prepayment and Salary/Pre-K Eligibility
This bill that was signed by the Governor on June 11th will repeal the prohibition on teacher prepayment provision in the School and Teacher Paperwork Reduction Act of 2011. This will correct an error in the previous bill that did not allow teachers on a 10-month plan to receive an August check until September, now teachers will receive payment during the month of August.
SB 810 - Regulatory Reform Act of 2012
Within this legislation, that was signed by the Governor on July 16th, is a section that I believe will address the issues between the Department of Labor and the farmers that they inspect. The Department of Labor will now be required to develop an employer’s notice of rights, which must be presented by any inspector at the beginning of each inspection. This will help educate our farmer’s on their rights and what they can expect during the course of an inspection.