RALEIGH — On Oct. 25, the General Assembly issued a resolution adjourning its long session.
Senate Joint Resolution 760 allows for the General Assembly to reconvene monthly to handle various business such as vetoes, appointments, and legal matters. Reconvening dates include Nov. 29 and Dec. 20, 2023, as well as three dates in 2024 that include Jan. 17, Feb. 14, and Mar. 3.
A total of 704 bills were introduced in the Senate and 895 introduced in the House during the 2023-24 long session with 402 making it through the crossover deadline.
As of the legislature’s adjournment, 149 bills have become Session Law, a number of which are big issue items on topics such as a 12-week limit on abortion, universal school choice expansion, girls sports protections, and Medicaid Expansion.
The budget’s tax relief package takes the personal tax rate from its current 4.75% down to 4.5% in 2024. Revenue triggers will create additional cuts to the rate, landing at 3.99% in 2026.
Multiple other bills that became law this session deal with staggering elections for county boards, municipal-level governance issues, as well as updating the number of members on certain school boards.
Redistricting bills were the last items to become law this session. The maps for state House, state Senate and U.S. Congress in North Carolina were all officially approved by the General Assembly. As the redistricting process is not under the jurisdiction of the governor’s veto, these recently passed maps have now become law.
Other Session Laws of note include:
- 2023-64 (House Bill 750) barring use of environmental, social, and governance (ESG) criteria in state investments, pensions, and hiring.
- 2023-78 (House Bill 605) establishing school threat assessment teams in public schools as well as counseling options for students.
- 2023-106 (Senate Bill 49) enumerates parental rights over their children in public education, the health, upbringing, and well-being of their children, and bars sexual topics and gender identity from being taught in grades K-4.
- 2023-109 (House Bill 574) protects women and girls by barring biological males from women’s sports.
- 2023-6 (House Bill 40) raises penalties for rioting or inciting a riot that causes property damage or bodily injury. House Speaker Tim Moore (R-Kings Mountain) sponsored the bill which was nearly identical to a vetoed measure from the previous session. Moore filed the original bill in the wake of the 2020 riots that swept across the state. The NC ACLU is currently suing over the law.
- 2023-111 (House Bill 808) prohibits gender transition procedures for minors including the use of hormones. A 9-year-old who claims to be a transgender has filed a lawsuit over the law, however, the complaint does not list the General Assembly as a defendant.
- 2023-127 (Senate Bill 579) raises penalties for disseminating obscenity to minors and requires age verifications on certain websites.
- 2023-128 (House Bill 142) increases criminal punishments for sex offenses against students, makes pension benefits forfeit for education employees convicted of such crimes, and makes it a felony for school officials failing to report sex offenses and related disciplinary actions to the State Board of Education.
The first bills filed this session included unfinished business from prior sessions or bills similar to those vetoed in the past by the governor.
A number of the bills filed in at the start of the long session remain in the unfinished column, such Senate Bill 3 that would create provisions for the use of marijuana for medical reasons. That bill stalled in the House Committee on Health back in late May.
A priority bill for House Rules and Operations Chair Rep. Destin Hall (R-Caldwell) that would require sheriff’s in the state to cooperate with Immigration Customs Enforcement detainers also remained in committee.