more historical NC Session Laws online soon

October 21, 2011

The North Carolina General Assembly website contains searchable and downloadable  Session Laws (enactments of the General Assembly in chronological order) at http://ncleg.net/gascripts/EnactedLegislation/ELTOC.pl?sType=Law

From 1959 through 1982 only LOCAL laws are included (those applicable in less than 15 counties), because they had be manually typed in and proofread when we buolt our electronic database in 1987. Most public laws are eventually codified in our General Statutes and available in a subject matter database http://ncleg.net/gascripts/statutes/Statutes.asp and local laws were a higher priority online need for legislative drafters, researchers and municipal and county attorneys and staff. From 1983 forward we have ALL Session Laws, public and local in our Session Laws database.

In 2008 after we added the 1959 local acts we stopped the manual process of adding older laws as digitzation of old books seemed on the horizon. Now, we’ve gotten to the horizon as a library digitization projects conclude.

Between now and July of 2012 we’ll start processing the  digitized 1008 public laws from 1981  and 1982 to add to the 392 local acts from that biennium in the database. While we will not be adding any large group of local acts pre-1959 until we get all the public laws online back to then, we are exploring adding several old city charters from Raleigh, Winston-Salem, and Asheville for historical reference purposes.

see https://ncbilldrafting.wordpress.com/2009/09/02/whats-a-city-charter-and-why-is-it-so-old/  the 25 largest municipalities all have charters enacted since 1958 which means they are already in our database. Missing? Three big ones:

Raleigh: Chapter 1184, Session Laws of 1949, April 23, 1949.

Winston-Salem: Chapter 232, Private Laws of 1927, March 3, 1927.

Asheville: Chapter 16, Private Laws of 1923, January 26, 1923, and Chapter 121, Private Laws of 1931, March 30, 1931.  The 1931 charter revisal was not a complete consolidation, it enacted new material as well as repealing parts and reenacting parts of the 1923 charter simply by referring to section numbers of the 1923 act, so both documents must still be consulted.


North Carolina laws from 1817 to 1871 now online

October 12, 2010

A year ago I posted about the big joint ECU/UNC/State/Legislative libraries project to digitize and publish 750,000+ pages of NC historical records.

We’ve got a batch of old laws online now — laws, public laws and private laws volumes from 1817 through 1871-72 are now up. In most cases you can get at them in multiple formats (Read Online, PDF, B/W PDF, EPUB, Kindle, Daisy, Full Text, and DjVu) at the link below. I’ll see if we can get these in some form to search across all the volumes.  For now, enjoy.

The laws of North-Carolina  (Volume 1817)

The laws of North-Carolina  (Volume 1818)

The laws of North-Carolina  (Volume 1819)

The laws of North-Carolina  (Volume 1820)

The laws of North-Carolina  (Volume 1821)

The laws of North-Carolina  (Volume 1822)

The laws of North-Carolina  (Volume 1823)

The laws of North-Carolina  (Volume 1824)

The laws of North-Carolina  (Volume 1825)

The laws of North-Carolina  (Volume 1826)

The laws of North-Carolina  (Volume 1827)

The laws of North-Carolina  (Volume 1828)

The laws of North-Carolina  (Volume 1829)

The laws of North-Carolina  (Volume 1830/31)

The laws of North-Carolina  (Volume 1831/32)

The laws of North-Carolina  (Volume 1832/33)

The laws of North-Carolina  (Volume 1833/34)

The laws of North-Carolina  (Volume 1834/35)

The laws of North-Carolina  (Volume 1835)

Laws of the State of North Carolina,  (Volume 1836/37)

Laws of the State of North Carolina,  (Volume 1838/1839)

Laws of the State of North Carolina,  (Volume 1840/41)

Laws of the State of North Carolina,  (Volume 1842/43)

Laws of the State of North Carolina,   (Volume 1844/45)

Laws of the State of North Carolina,   (Volume 1846/47)

Laws of the State of North Carolina,   (Volume 1848/49)

Laws of the State of North Carolina,   (Volume 1850/51)

Laws of the State of North Carolina,   (Volume 1852)

Private laws of the State of North-Carolina,  (Volume 1854/55)

Public laws of the State of North-Carolina,  (Volume 1854/55)

Private laws of the State of North-Carolina,  (Volume 1856/57)

Public laws of the State of North-Carolina,  (Volume 1856/57)

Private laws of the State of North-Carolina,  (Volume 1858/59)

Public laws of the State of North-Carolina,  (Volume 1858/59)

Private laws of the State of North-Carolina,  (Volume 1860/61)

Public laws of the State of North-Carolina,  (Volume 1860/61)

Public laws of the State of North-Carolina,  (Volume 1861)

Private laws of the State of North-Carolina,  (Volume 1862/63)

Public laws of the State of North-Carolina,  (Volume 1862/63)

Public laws of the State of North-Carolina,  (Volume 1863)

Private laws of the State of North-Carolina,  (Volume 1864/65)

Public laws of the State of North-Carolina,  (Volume 1864/65)

Private laws of the State of North-Carolina,  (Volume 1865/66)

Public laws of the State of North-Carolina,  (Volume 1865/66)

Private laws of the State of North-Carolina,  (Volume 1866/67)

Public laws of the State of North-Carolina,  (Volume 1866/67)

Public laws of the State of North-Carolina,  (Volume 1868)

Private laws of the State of North-Carolina,  (Volume 1868/69)

Public laws of the State of North-Carolina,  (Volume 1868/69)

Private laws of the State of North-Carolina,  (Volume 1869/70)

Public laws of the State of North-Carolina,  (Volume 1869/70)

Private laws of the State of North-Carolina,  (Volume 1870/71)

Public laws of the State of North-Carolina,  (Volume 1870/71)

Public laws of the State of North-Carolina,   (Volume 1871/72)

Private laws of the State of North-Carolina,  (Volume 1871/72)


first scans – NC public records digitization project

September 10, 2009

I posted this past weekend about the big joint ECU/UNC/State/Legislative libraries project to digitize and publish 750,000+ pages of NC historical records.

I’ve learned from the North Carolina Legislative Library: “UNC has begun scanning materials on the Scribe, and ECU will begin testing data extracts from the Internet Archive in the next three weeks, with the hope that we get the first sample set of data sometime in October. UNC is starting at the top of the alphabetized priority one list and scanning until they are done.”

Linked is the initial subject list of the 1,307 volumes containing 581,736 pages that are being scanned. Some of the 56 different types of publications include:

Read the rest of this entry »


Do counties have charters? (no and yes)

September 4, 2009

 After I posted earlier this week about city charters I got an inquiry about whether counties have charters. I would view the initial act creating a county as its charter, but no county that I know of has ever sought an enactment to codify its local acts into one document as municipalities do from time to time.  Even the initial “act” creating a county has many sources — Lords Proprietors, Governor and Council, colonial assembly, or the General Assembly.  County “charters” were also apparently repealed by the Governor on instructions from the Board of Trade and/or the Crown in London, and then the crown consented to the colonial assembly reenacting them.

 The best compilation of these initial enactments and boundary amendments is Corbitt’s “Formation of the North Carolina Counties 1663-1943“, second printing with corrections 1969, which excerpts boundary descriptions and contains citations to the acts, orders, and colonial records establishing each county.

 There is a compilation of local acts relating to counties:

North Carolina County Legislation Index: A Complete Listing of the Local or Special Acts Passed by the General Assembly for Each County 1669-1961“, ed. by Clyde L. Ball and “North Carolina County Legislation Index: Supplement 1966”  — which covers the 1963 and 1965 sessions. Both of those indices are in the Legislative Library and the School of Government Library. They contain citations only and not the texts of any acts. New Hanover County apparently used these documents in preparing what became Chapter 354 of the 1979 Session Laws, AN ACT TO REPEAL ACTS OF THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY RELATING TO NEW HANOVER COUNTY which repealed almost 200 local acts dating back to 1777.

The North Carolina State Library recently received a grant to digitize and publish  text searchable versions of many original North Carolina documents. Among the first to be done will be Session Law (including private acts, public acts, etc) volumes from the 1700s forward to 2000.  I will post as this project moves forward (I do not know any timeline yet)


Eight days a week

June 11, 2009

While only the Beatles could have eight days a week, and with a Friday and Saturday North Carolina House session likely this week, the Charlotte Observer’s Jack Betts has a great post today about how regular daily sessions dropped from six to five to four days per week over the last 65 years.

Jack concluded his post:

Legislators once spent at least parts of six days a week in Raleigh on formal sessions; Now it’s four days a week. But, of course, with technology and staff and sophisticated ways to analyze problems, lawmakers have many more ways to be productive. And a lot of them work on legislative business seven days a week, no matter whether they’re in Raleigh, Ramp Cove or Rodanthe.


Finding Dan Blue’s votes

June 1, 2009

I’m continuing to get inquiries about Dan Blue’s service in both the House and Senate during the 2009 North Carolina legislative session. While this is nothing new (Dan is the sixth Representative to move over the the Senate since 1943), I still get inquiries about whether he can vote in the same bill in both houses (yes)  and where to find his votes.

Senator Blue shows in our legislative website and linked databases as both a Senator (with votes cast as a Senator) and as a Representative (with votes cast as a Representative here).


Hartsell signs a bill

June 1, 2009

Hartsell signs bill
Hartsell signs bill

When Senator Fletcher Hartsell signed Senate Bill 750 on May 28, 2009, he became since at least 1945 the first rank and file Senator to sign a bill as part of the enrollment and ratification process. The North Carolina Constitution in Article II, Section 22 requires the “presiding officer” of each house to sign the bill before it becomes law. The signature is the certification of the presiding officer that the enrolled bill, a transcribed and substituted copy,  is the same as the bill that passed both houses of the General Assembly.  After ratification, public bills move on to the Governor’s office for action, while local bills (those affecting 15 or fewer counties) become law when the second presiding officer signs.

The North Carolina Constitution of 1776 required the Speakers of both houses to sign legislation (there was no Lieutenant Governor back then, and the Senate elected a Speaker just like the House).  The Constitution of 1868 substituted a requirement that the “presiding officer” sign the bills.  It was not until 1947 that the Senate adopted a rule on the subject, prescribing that only the President of the Senate could sign bills, an authority expanded to the President Pro Tempore in 1985 and to the Deputy President Pro Tempore in 1999. Finally, the 2009 Senate amended Rule 66 to allow the President Pro Tempore to designate another Senator as presiding officer to sign bills and resolutions.  Whether any rank-and-file Senator signed any bills between 1868 and 1945 is unknown.
In the House, the matter is different.  House Rule 55 allows the Speaker “or other presiding officer” to sign bills, while Rule 6 allows the Speaker to designate another member to preside.  It is not the custom for the Speaker to designate someone other than the Speaker Pro Tempore to sign bills, however. Our database shows the names of all bill signatories since 1991, since then only Session Law 2003-11 was signed by in the House by someone other than the Speaker or Speaker Pro Tempore. (The House had two Speakers that session, they alternated signing bills on the day they were Speaker, but on April 10, 2003 Richard T. Morgan signed a bill on a day Jim Black was Speaker, so he signed it as “presiding officer”.)