Volume III | March 1, 2021
2219 Legislative Building | 16 West Jones Street | Raleigh, NC 27601 | 919-733-5830
The North Carolina General Assembly had a very productive week in Raleigh, voting on multiple pieces of legislation – with votes being held on Wednesday and Thursday. We focused our attention on House Bill 196, which is the 2021 COVID-19 Response & Relief bill and made progress on pushing it through the House. As session continues to ramp up, my colleagues and I remain committed to addressing the top priorities of the citizens we represent. 
Monday, March 1st:
I'm incredibly disheartened by the Senate’s vote to sustain the veto of SB 37. North Carolina students have endured enough at the hands of COVID-19 and continue to suffer with the refusal to place their educational needs on the forefront by safely reopening schools – giving them the opportunity to attend in-person.

Families across the state are struggling to balance the role of parent and educator, while also juggling their work schedule. The result of this bill is discouraging for both parents and students, who are left to pay the price for this. There is no reason that students shouldn’t be allowed to attend class in-person.

I’m committed to advocating for equal access to education for the students and families in not only District 19, but statewide as they are the future of North Carolina. I plan to work collaboratively with my colleagues to overcome the many educational hurdles that students have encountered through remote learning
Tuesday, March 2nd:
The Education K-12 Committee met to discuss two bills.

  • House Bill 118, which is Students, Parents, Community Rights Act, and this bill will permit access to outdoor sporting facilities in public and nonpublic high schools. One of the conversation pieces regarding this bill, is to increase the number of counties permitting the public to have further access to outdoor sporting facilities. Prior to this conversation the bill only pertained to Union County.

  • House Bill 128 was the other bill in discussion, which would authorize both public and nonpublic K-12 schools, community colleges, and constituent institutions of The University of North Carolina to allow spectators at up to 50% capacity for sporting events, graduation and commencement ceremonies, and other outdoor activities orchestrated by the qualifying schools.

Wednesday, March 3rd:
The NC House met to discuss and vote on six different bills.

  • House Bill 67 being one of them, which is GSC Technical Corrections 2021. This bill was recommended by the General Statutes Commission, to correct the technical nature of the General Statues and session laws. This bill will consist of correcting any grammatical errors and eliminating unnecessary wordage to provide further clarity to the Statutes in question.

  • House Bill 76, which is Modernize Debt Settlement Prohibition to modernize and expand the prohibition of debt settlement by making debt settlement an unfair trade practice, clarifying the definition of debt settlement, expanding civil remedies available to debtors, and limiting debt settlement acts that are authorized and to make other administrative and technical changes.

  • House Bill 118 Students, Parents, Community Rights Act and House Bill 128 Increase Access to Sporting Venues in Schools, which mentioned previously as they moved through the Education K-12 Committee. Both bills advocate for spectators being present at various events.

  • House Bill 137 Steve Troxler Agricultural Sciences Center this act dedicates the Agricultural Sciences Center of the Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services as the Steve Troxler Agricultural Science Center. The new Agricultural Sciences Center is a cutting-edge laboratory facility that will perform critical tests for the Department's Food and Drug Protection, Standards, Structural Pest Control and Pesticides, and Veterinary Divisions. Also recognizing Steve Troxler for his hard work and dedication in serving as the North Carolina Commissioner of Agriculture.

  • House Bill 196 2021 COVID-19 Response & Relief, which extends COVID-19 regulatory relief for North Carolinians in addition to significant funding. The bill will direct over $600 million statewide for testing, tracing, and prevention needs, as well as $100 million for K-12 public school needs and $290 million for higher education emergency relief. It will include another $40 million to support summer learning programs in addition to the education funds approved by the legislature last month. HB 196 will also provide funding for farms, fisheries, food banks, small business grants, broadband, summer school programs, mental health and substance abuse services, and upgrades to the NC COVID Vaccine Management System, among other allocations.

Thursday, March 4th:
The NC House met again to debate and vote on seven bills.
  • House Bill 19: Norwood/Remove Cap on Satellite Annexations, which removes the cap on satellite annexations for the town of Norwood, located in Stanly County.

  • House Bill 27: In-Service Training/Magistrates, this bill ensures that all magistrates receive the necessary education required for them to perform their job.

  • House Bill 73: Temporarily Waive ABC Permit Renewal Fees, this bill requires the ABC Commission to renew or register without payment certain ABC permits that are active as of April 30, 2021 for the period of May 1, 2021 through April 30, 2022 and would also allow anyone who has already paid a fee for a listed permit to request a refund from the ABC Commission. 

This applies to the following ABC permits:

  • On-premises malt beverage permit
  • On-premises unfortified wine permit
  • On-premises fortified wine permit
  • Mixed beverages permit
  • Culinary permit
  • Mixed beverages catering permit
  • Guest room cabinet permit
  • Wine tasting permit
  • Wine shop permit
  • Malt beverage tasting permit
  • Spirituous liquor tasting permit
  • Antique spirituous liquor permit
  • Common area entertainment permit

  • House Bill 81 (SB8): In-State Tuition Pilot Program authorizes the State Board of Community Colleges to implement an in-state tuition pilot program for residents of certain Georgia counties. (The counties are as following: Fannin, Rabun, Towns, and Union)

  • House Bill 121: Clarify EQIP Funding Requirements, an act that will clarify the funding of certain water resource projects under the Environmental Quality Incentives Program.

  • House Bill 139 Soil Scientist/On-Site Wastewater Cert. Bd., this act adds a licensed soil scientist to the on-site Wastewater Contractors and Inspectors Certification Board.

Saturday, March 6th:
This past Saturday, March 6th I had the privilege of presenting Ms. Emily McKeithan with a certificate and North Carolina flag – that was flown over the State Capitol in celebration of her 96th birthday.

Ms. McKeithan has been heavily involved in the Southport community and has played such an influential role in the lives of those around her. She never fails to offer a tremendous amount of love, care, and support to everyone she encounters.

I want to thank those in the community who worked hard to make this day so special for her, specifically the fire and police departments who conducted a parade in her honor. As well as, the many individuals who stopped by her home to spend time with her.
While the schedule of committee meetings and floor votes continues to increase dramatically, we are also seeing an increase in calls, emails, and letters from constituents in the district. I’m actively meeting with various groups representing businesses in the counties of Brunswick and New Hanover, as well as, individuals in the district to hear their questions and concerns. As always, I welcome visits in Raleigh, but ask that you make an appointment ahead of time!
COVID-19 Resources