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Legislature To Adjourn By July 11th With Plans To Return In September

Elizabeth Yelverton | NCASA Legal Affairs & Policy Manager

While state legislative leadership previously expressed their hopes to adjourn sine die this week—meaning legislators would not return until next year’s legislative session in January—the General Assembly approved early this morning an adjournment resolution that would provide legislators with a break from Saturday, July 11, until reconvening on Wednesday, September 2. The resolution language limits the types of bills that can be handled by the General Assembly in September to bills relating to COVID-19 funding issues, appointments/vacancies, and veto overrides. Legislators are not expected to take any substantive action from now through July 11, and instead hold “skeletal” sessions, as Governor Cooper addresses bills recently sent by the legislature for his consideration. In the meantime, NCASA will be working to provide written summaries of all laws enacted in 2020, to be finalized after the Governor’s deadline for action on bills presented to him passes. NCASA will also be offering a full overview of major legislation and possible topics for next session during our virtual School Law & Policy Seminar on September 21, for which registration is opening soon!

 

The following is an overview of major education-related bills that received significant action in the legislature this week, recently became law, or were sent to the Governor’s office for his consideration. Please click here to access NCASA’s coverage of S113, S212, and H1023.

 

Bills With NCGA Action

  • S681: Agency Policy Directives/2019-2020
    • The House and Senate approved early this morning a 44-page conference report for S681 containing several education policy items, such as an arts education graduation requirement, advanced teaching roles changes, and charter school enrolment changes. Due to the length of this bill, NCASA will provide a more in-depth summary of this legislation in next week’s newsletter.
    • Conference report passed House and Senate on 6/26; ordered enrolled to be sent to the Governor
  • H1074: Omitted Membership Service/TSERS/LGERS
    • Amends the Teachers' and State Employees' Retirement System (TSERS) and the Local Governmental Employees' Retirement System (LGERS) to allow the purchase of omitted membership service when an employee in a position classified as part-time was classified as part-time in error and was not eligible to earn membership service due to that error.
    • Passed House on 6/24; sent to Senate and referred to Senate Rules Committee
  • H1105: COVID/Supplementary G.R.E.A.T. Grant Period
    • Appropriates $30 million in CARES Act funding to the Department of Information Technology (DIT) to be used for a special supplementary grant process for the Growing Rural Economies with Access to Technology (GREAT) program to expand broadband infrastructure in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
    • Passed House on 6/23; sent to Senate and referred to Senate Rules Committee
  • H1113 (=S793): Local Option Sales Tax/School Construction
    • Allows Guilford County to designate as the purpose for which it may use the proceeds of the one-quarter cent local sales and use tax either any public purpose or only public school capital outlay purposes.
    • Passed House on 6/22; sent to Senate and referred to Senate Rules Committee
  • H1225: Education & Transportation Bond Act of 2020
    • Authorizes the issuance of $3.1B in general obligation bonds if approved by a majority of voters in the 2020 general election; provides funding for public school capital outlay projects and repairs and renovations.
    • Passed House on 6/23; sent to Senate and referred to Senate Rules Committee
  • S374: Regulatory Reform Act of 2020
    • Amends numerous State laws related to agriculture, energy, environment, natural resources, State and local government, and other various regulations.
    • Referred to House Rules Committee on 6/25
  • S706 (=H1047): Education Changes For Military-Connected Students
    • Authorizes students with parents or legal guardians not domiciled in the State who are active duty military to attend school in the State if the student is residing with an adult domiciled in the State due to the inability of the student to physically reside with the military parent due to the parent's military orders; allows high school students who are eligible for in-state tuition at the time of application due to their status as dependents of military personnel to retain that status upon enrollment, even if the parent has been reassigned to another state incident to active military duty.
    • Referred to House Rules Committee on 6/22

 

New Session Laws

  • H158 (=S.L. 2020-30): COVID-19 New Driver Response
    • Waives the road test requirement for limited provisional licenses and provides accommodations for in-person driver education coursework interrupted by spring 2020 school closures.
    • Signed into law on 6/19
  • H1071 (= S.L. 2020-27): Funds To DPI For ADM Growth
    • Appropriates approximately $100M in funds to the Department of Public Instruction for increased average daily membership in public schools as follows:
      • $75M in nonrecurring funds form the Civil Penalty and Forfeiture Fund;
      • $3,923,230 in nonrecurring funds from the cash balance in the School Bus Replacement Fund; and
      • $22M in nonrecurring funds from the Coronavirus Relief Reserve.
    • Signed into law on 6/19
  • S379 (=S.L. 2020-29): Retirement Systems Admin. Changes
    • Amends TSERS creditable service purchases; clarifies that TSERS membership ceases when a member withdraws accumulated contributions, becomes a beneficiary, or dies; sets the date for payment of the contribution-based benefit cap liability for 12 months after the member's effective date of retirement; makes other administrative changes requested by the State Treasurer.
    • Signed into law on 6/19

 

On The Governor’s Desk

  • H118: COVID-19 Liability Safe Harbor
    • Provides limited immunity from liability for any act or omission not amounting to gross negligence, willful or wanton conduct, or intentional wrongdoing in claims arising from contraction of COVID-19.
    • Presented to Gov. on 6/24
  • H1050 (=S725): PED/Low-Performing School Districts
    • Requires that plans for improvement and comprehensive needs assessments of low-performing local school administrative units include consideration and examination of early childhood learning.
    • Presented to Gov. On 6/24
  • H1096: UNC Omnibus Changes/UNC Lab School Funds
    • Makes various changes to statutes related to the programs and operation of the University of North Carolina; transfers $200,000 from existing funds to the laboratory school program; and directs the UNC Board of Governors to study the feasibility of offering accelerated undergraduate degree programs at constituent institutions.
    • Presented to Gov. on 6/25
  • H1218: Salary-Related Contributions/Debt Service Funds
    • Reduces the State employer salary-related contributions and appropriates funds to be used to meet the State's General Fund debt service obligations.
    • Presented to Gov. on 6/18
  • S719: Retirement Technical Changes & Protections
    • Amends statutes pertaining to the Teacher's and State Employees' Retirement System (TSERS) to include administrative changes requested by the State Treasurer.
    • Presented to Gov. on 6/18
  • S816: Community College Funds/Cooperative Innovative High School Funds/Coronavirus Funds and Offsets
    • Appropriates $1.88M in non-recurring funds to the Department of Public Instruction (DPI) to be allocated to certain school districts as supplemental funding for designated cooperative innovative high schools.
    • Presented to Gov. on 6/25

 

Elizabeth Yelverton
eyelverton@ncasa.net
919-828-1426