day 13 of 30: Drought bill (H2499) signed

July 31, 2008

Governor Easley signed one bill, House Bill 2499, into law on Thursday, July 31, 2008, day 13 of 30 days for gubernatorial action. This leaves 86 bills pending on the Governor’s desk.

The new law is:

S.L. 2008-143

H2499

Drought/Water Management Recommendations.

HTML | RTF | PDF ]

Under Article II, Section 22 of the Constitution, the Governor has 30 days after adjournment to act on all pending bills, with July 19 being day one.   The 30-day period concludes at midnight, Sunday, August 17, 2008.  Any bills not acted on by the deadline become law on Monday, August 18, 2008. Bills sent to the Governor prior to adjournment where the 10-day limit had not run out at adjournment have a new 30-day clock.

2008 laws enacted are listed here in order of becoming law, and here in order of bill number.  These links are normally updated within a few business hours of action being taken.


day 12 of 30: no more bills signed

July 31, 2008

Governor Easley did not sign any bills Wednesday, July 30, 2008, day 12 of 30 days for gubernatorial action after sine die adjournment of the North Carolina General Assembly session.  This was not unexpected, as the Governor had shoulder surgery Tuesday.  Of the 113 bills pending on the Governor’s desk at adjournment of the 2007 Regular Session on July 18, 2008, 87 remain for action.

Under Article II, Section 22 of the Constitution, the Governor has 30 days after adjournment to act on all pending bills, with July 19 being day one.   The 30-day period concludes at midnight, Sunday, August 17, 2008.  Any bills not acted on by the deadline become law on Monday, August 18, 2008. Bills sent to the Governor prior to adjournment where the 10-day limit had not run out at adjournment have a new 30-day clock.

2008 laws enacted are listed here in order of becoming law, and here in order of bill number.  These links are normally updated within a few business hours of action being taken.


What if a bill is vetoed?

July 30, 2008

Under Article II, Section 22 of the Constitution, North Carolina Governor Mike Easley has 30 days after adjournment of the legislative session on July 18, 2008 to act on all pending bills, with July 19 being day one.   The 30-day period concludes at midnight, Sunday, August 17, 2008.  Any bills not acted on by the deadline become law on Monday, August 18, 2008.

If a bill is vetoed before the deadline for action, the Governor must reconvene the session to consider an override, unless a majority of the members of each house sign a statement that a reconvened session is not necessary.  The session can be held at any time after the veto, but it must convene not later than Wednesday, August 27, 2008, the 40th day after adjournment.

Here are the applicable constitutional provisions:

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day 11 of 30: no more bills signed

July 30, 2008

Governor Easley did not sign any bills Tuesday, July 29, 2008, day 11 of 30 days for gubernatorial action after sine die adjournment of the North Carolina General Assembly session.  This was not unexpected, as the Governor had shoulder surgery Tuesday.  Of the 113 bills pending on the Governor’s desk at adjournment of the 2007 Regular Session on July 18, 2008, 87 remain for action.

Under Article II, Section 22 of the Constitution, the Governor has 30 days after adjournment to act on all pending bills, with July 19 being day one.   The 30-day period concludes at midnight, Sunday, August 17, 2008.  Any bills not acted on by the deadline become law on Monday, August 18, 2008. Bills sent to the Governor prior to adjournment where the 10-day limit had not run out at adjournment have a new 30-day clock.

2008 laws enacted are listed here in order of becoming law, and here in order of bill number.  These links are normally updated within a few business hours of action being taken.


Day 10 of 30: Governor Easley signs 26 bills

July 29, 2008

Governor Easley signed 26 bills into law on Monday, July 28, 2008, day ten of 30 days for gubernatorial action. This leaves 87 bills pending on the Governor’s desk.

The 26 new laws are:

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Bill signings July 28 to be posted soon

July 29, 2008

While none of the 113 bills pending on the Governor’s desk at adjournment of the 2007 Regular Session on July 18, 2008 had been signed as of close of business Sunday, July 27, 2008, day nine of 30 days for gubernatorial action, we understand that 20-25 bills were signed on Monday, July 28, 2008, and we hope to have those posted and online by 2:00 pm today.


Special Assessments for Infrastructure – HB 1770

July 29, 2008

I have gotten several inquiries about House Bill 1770  of the 2007 Regular Session (passed by the General Assembly and pending action by the Governor) which authorizes cities and counties to make assessments for infrastructure.

This started as a Senate Bill 2156, a local bill for Cabarrus County (not including any municipal authority)
The introduced version of Senate Bill 2156 was much more complicated. It was modeled after South Carolina’s County Public Works Improvement Act, passed in 1993.

The Senate Finance Committee adopted a committee substitute for the bill that made it apply to four counties, greatly simplified it, changed the purposes, and added municipalities in those four counties. 

The project then got transferred to House Bill 1770 for procedural reasons. It was made into a statewide bill, with the only substantive change being the addition of public transportation as an assessment purpose.

Here is the bill summary prepared by committee staff, edited to reflect final action:

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2008 short session adjournment earlier than the norm

July 27, 2008

The 2008 short session of the General Assembly adjourned sine die on July 18, 2008. This is the third earliest adjournment of the last 10 short sessions, and the 40 legislative days the second fewest in two decades.  Here are the short session adjournment dates for the last 20 years, compiled by the Legislative Library:

2008 July 18 

2006 July 28

2004 July 18

2002 Oct 4    

2000 July 13

1998 Oct 29

1996 Aug 3

1994 July 17   

1992 July 25   

1990 July 28


NCSL Annual Summit: No “foolish venture”

July 26, 2008

On my return from the Annual Summit of the National Conference of State Legislatures in New Orleans today, I found an intriguing editorial in the News & Observer today, obviously written by someone who was not there, and had apparently not read the agenda. Here are some of the most enlightening portions of the editorial:

“No doubt there are things legislators can learn from each other, and issues that states have in common. But in a time when North Carolina, along with every other state, is feeling an economic pinch, and when many citizens fear for their jobs and already struggle to make ends meet, this meeting is a foolish venture. The Jones Street world of Tar Heel lawmakers can be a bit cloistered — one where it’s easy to … not recognize, through the insulation of Big Shot-hood, the negative appearances of a trip like this. … But some of that could be accessed at home via the Internet or on the phone or with staffers consulting with each other … “

Before leaving for New Orleans, I culled from the agenda the meetings most relevant to me, which I list below.  I attended at least one of the meetings listed below in each and every time block below. Many times, there were multiple meetings at the same time and I attended parts of two or more You might notice the heavy emphasis on issues like redistricting, ethics, public records, and access to emails. There were a total of 273 DIFFERENT meetings listed on the master agenda. 

“Foolish venture”?  NOT.

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1959 local acts online

July 26, 2008

The North Carolina online legislative database was updated yesterday with 909 local acts from the 1959 session. The laws were scanned from the bound volumes, proofread, and uploaded. These local acts can be browsed in order of enactment, or searched in our session law database. The 909 local acts from 1959 were identified from among the total of 1338 enactments from the 1959 session.  Our session law database now contains all local acts from 1959 through 1982, and all session laws (local and public) from 1983 to date.

We’ve been going back one legislative session (two years) each year and scanning local acts.  We’ve to date not posted public laws from 1959 through 1982 to reduce the expense of the project (all laws since 1983 are online because that was the year we began saving all acts in an electronic format at the time of enactment).  With a half-century of laws now online, we’ll be exploring a different way of adding to our digital holdings — we might try to fill in the missing public acts or go back farther in time — or both. Here’s an abstract of a session I attended at the National Conference of State Legislature’s Annual Summit in New Orleans this week that gave us an idea of a potentially cheaper and faster way to add more laws:

7:45 am – 9:45 am Internet Archive and the Ontario Legislative Assembly Collaborative Project
Hilton Riverside Eglinton Winton–Second Floor    

How can researchers get access to old and fragile legislative books and records without jeopardizing venerable materials? Learn about the collaborative project between the Internet Archive and the Ontario Legislative Assembly, in which journals are scanned and made available to the public through the Internet Archive. Discuss the implications and gain practical advice for implementing a similar project.

  • Moderator: Judy Smith, State Library of Louisiana
  • Speakers: Peter Ellinger, Library Technology Applications, Legislative Assembly of Ontario
  • Robert Miller, Internet Archive, California

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