Weekly Legislative Update - Friday, June 9, 2017

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Legislative Update

June 9, 2017 

The Week In Review


The Budget Process Continues...


As the legislative session enters what may be its final weeks, lawmakers in both the House and Senate began budget negotiations while also debating a full slate of free-standing bills, many of which deal with education. These negotiations will happen in a conference committee made up of members of both chambers. After both chambers reconcile their budgetary visions in the conference committee, both the House and Senate will approve a final version before sending it to the Governor. In terms of both budget provisions and stand-alone bills, this session has seen much legislative interest in education.

Can you balance the State's budget? 

The budget is a highly complex piece of legislation, requiring legislators to balance many competing priorities. North Carolina Insight, a project of the NC Center for Public Policy Research, created a free online budget simulation tool that helps shed light on the process of creating the state budget.  Users are able to create their own ideal version of the North Carolina budget by adjusting the amounts allocated to various state departments and programs.  Click here to try it out!


Budget Tool

Relevant Bills with Action

While we await the final budget compromise, here are the bills that made their way through the General Assembly this week:

School Resource Officer

HB 55: Apex/Cary Police Assistance on School Grounds 

This bill allows the town of Apex to provide law enforcement assistance to the Cary Police Department on the grounds of the temporary Apex High School in Cary. This week, it was passed by the Senate State and Local Government Committee. It will now head to the Senate Rules Committee.

HB 333: Local Option Sales Tax Flexibility

This bill allows counties to apply up to a 0.5% local sales tax that may be used to supplement classroom teacher salaries, fund local transportation, financially support community colleges, or for general purposes. Under the bill, the introduction of the tax would require a majority vote by referendum and approval of the county Board of Commissioners. HB 333 offers counties more flexibility in how to use local sales tax revenue, and does not increase the maximum allowable sales tax rate. After passing the House late last week, the bill was referred to the Senate Rules Committee for consideration.


School Construction

HB 482: Clarify Board of Commissioner Approval of School Construction

HB 482 clarifies that the amount spent on the construction of local school facilities must be approved by the local county Board of Commissioners. This week, the bill was referred to the Senate Education/Higher Education Committee.

HB 746: Omnibus Gun Changes 

HB 746 combines an array of changes to statewide handgun regulations. In its current version, the bill will direct the State Board of Education to develop the content of two high school elective courses - a Wildlife Conservation course and a Firearm Safety Course - that can be offered at North Carolina high schools.  It cleared the House on Wednesday and will now proceed to a Senate committee.

SB 269: City of Durham Pilot Program to Use Electronic Systems to Enforce School Zone Speed Limits

This bill allows the City of Durham to establish a three-year pilot program by December 1st, 2018, to use Electronic Speed Detection Systems to enforce speed limits within school zones. The bill allows the City of Durham to impose civil fines and penalties on drivers caught speeding with the system. This week, the bill was referred to the Senate State and Local Government Committee for review.

School Speed Limit Sign

Career and Technical Education - CTE

SB 421: Use of Career and Technical Funds in Onslow County

Last year, the General Assembly allocated $5,000,000 dollars to Onslow County to retrofit and purchase equipment for a regional career and technical education center. This bill allows these funds to be used for the construction of a new education center. Having passed the House and Senate, the bill was sent to the Governor for his signature this week.

SB 548: Strengthen Human Trafficking Laws/Studies 

Human trafficking is a tragic reality in North Carolina and around the world.  As a broad proposal that seeks to address multiple aspects of preventing human trafficking, SB 548 includes language that directs the State Board of Education to adopt a policy to require LEAs and charter schools to train their personnel on identifying warning signs of sexual abuse in minors, and how to respond when they are observed.  As the bill is currently written, the training would take place once every three years.  SB 548, having had a long stay in the Senate Rules Committee, was re-referred to the Senate Judiciary II Committee, implying that further action may be forthcoming.

SB 599: Excellent Educators for Every Classroom

This bill, summarized in a prior edition of this newsletter, would replace the state’s current lateral entry system with a residency model, while allowing the State Board of Education to continue issuing lateral entry licenses through 2019. The bill passed its final Senate committee, Rules, on Thursday, and will be heard next by the full Senate.

NC Elementary Teacher and Student

DPI Logo

See this link for a complete list of bills impacting education.

NC Professional Development

Financial and Business Services Budget Webinar

This week, DPI's Financial and Business Services Office gave a webinar to superintendents on the House and Senate budget proposals. The following documents were covered in the webinar:

Legislative Calendar

Thursday, June 8, 2017

  2:00 PM Special Session canceled, declared unconstitutional by the House

  2:00 PM Special Session canceled, declared unconstitutional by the Senate

Monday, June 12, 2017 

  4:00 PM Session Convenes (Senate)  Senate Audio

  7:00 PM Session Convenes (House)   House Audio       


Wednesday, June 14, 2017

12:00 PM | 1027/1128 LB  Transportation  (Senate)  

  1:00 PM | 415 LOB Judiciary I (House)

  1:00 PM | 421 LOB Judiciary III (House) 

NC General Assembly

Civic Education is Important.

Use the online resources below to learn more about opportunities for students in the General Assembly, reports by the DPI and State Board of Education to the General Assembly, and how our state legislature works.

North Carolina General Assembly 



    • Martez Hill  –  Executive Director  |  919-807-3404
    • Cecilia Holden  –  Director of Legislative Affairs and Special Initiatives  |  919-807-4035
    • Robb Jansen  –  Policy Development Analyst  |  919-807-3407
    • Anne Murtha  –  Legislative Specialist  |  919-807-3403
    • Dylan Blackburn – Legislative Intern

    To view previous 2017 Weekly Legislative Updates click here.

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