The General Assembly continues to move closer to the 2013 session and I have been busy preparing for our return by meeting with constituents and interest groups here at home and in Raleigh. My focus remains job creation and economic development and the required systems such as education and infrastructure improvements needed to support our economy. I welcome your ideas about how we can put people back to work in our community, even as more of our teachers and other vital public servants continued to be fired as a result of the misplaced priorities of the majority party in Raleigh. Our state’s unemployment rate remains the fifth-worst in the nation under their leadership.
This week, I wanted to share some of the new laws that will go into place Oct. 1, many of which I supported. These laws will improve public safety in our state.
Thank you for your interest in state government. Please contact me if I can be of assistance to you or your family.
• The General Assembly modernized its emergency management laws HB 843, this past year, laying out the responsibilities of the governor and local authorities in the event of an emergency or disaster. The law also includes prohibitions against price-gouging and details what steps officials are permitted to take in the case of an emergency.
• Motorists must now attempt to move over a lane on the roads so that workers in highway maintenance vehicles and utility vehicles who are working beside the road can operate safely. Previously the law only required motorists to move over for public safety vehicles, such as police cars or ambulances, HB 345.
• Street gangs and the property on which they operate can now be declared public nuisances under a new law HB 673, approved this year.
• The Metal Theft Prevention Act HB 199, strengthens laws against the theft of precious metals by requiring permits for purchasers of certain metals and making it a specific crime to harm property during the theft of precious metals.
• The names and addresses of minors involved in school bus crashes can now only be disclosed to the public in certain circumstances, SB 227.
• A new law creates the crime of unlawfully selling, surrendering or purchasing a minor. The law also requires the North Carolina Conference Of District Attorneys to study what other measures may be needed to stop this type of crime SB 910.
• A wide-ranging law approved this past session creates a new first-degree trespass offense. The law SB 141, also requires the Department Of Public Safety to continue to assist offenders trying to successfully reenter society and gives local crime labs and certain forensic scientists more time to obtain accreditation and certification.
• Probation violators who abscond or try to avoid arrest will no longer be eligible for public assistance until they surrender to the courts, HB 1173 .
• Last week our nation marked the 11th anniversary since the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001. I continue to stand behind the members of our military who were called upon to defend our country after that attack and my thoughts remain with the victims and their families.
• This week is Constitution Week, a commemoration of our nation’s founding document. Activities will be planned across the state. For more information, contact your local chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution.
Please feel free to contact me when you have questions or concerns pertaining to Legislative matters.
Room 1111 - Legislative Building
16 W. Jones Street
Raleigh, NC 27601