Thanks to those of you who have submitted feedback to us regarding House Bill 63: “Firearm in Locked Motor Vehicle/Parking Lot.” As a reminder, this bill would mandate businesses to allow firearms and ammunition onto their property provided that they are out of sight in a locked motor vehicle. In its current form, if a business disregards this statute, prohibits firearms on its property, and an employee was injured because of the prohibition (from lack of being able to adequately defend themselves), the injured party or estate could bring civil action against the employer because of the “no weapons” policy. The Charlotte Chamber does not have a position on this legislation yet, but we’d like to share the sentiments of our members with members of the Mecklenburg delegation. You may still provide your feedback to Charlotte Chamber lobbyist Allison Waller at firstname.lastname@example.org or 704-378-1322.
Last week both bodies of the General Assembly focused on overriding the Governor’s veto on the two measures she’s stopped this session. The House failed to get 3/5ths of the votes necessary to override the veto on HB 2 which would allow individuals to opt-out of the national health care reform law passed last year. However, through a procedural tactic, House leadership made it so the bill will stay alive in the 2011-2012 session, allowing them to call for an override vote at their will.
The Senate successfully overrode Governor Perdue’s veto of Senate Bill 13 in a 31-19 party-line vote, which was surprising given they had already passed a replacement bill for SB 13. The likelihood for the House to have the sufficient 3/5ths votes necessary for an override is very slim. The Senate’s override vote was largely symbolic in response to the Governor’s announcement that she is planning to borrow $491 million from other state funds to expedite payouts of income tax refunds including $100 million from an unemployment tax fund. The funds would be paid back as income tax returns come in. Experts have weighed in questioning the constitutionality of this move, thus prompting the response of the legislature.
Regulatory Reform & Call to Action
The Joint House and Senate Select Committee on Regulatory Reform is holding public forums across the state, the first of which occurred in Wilmington last Friday. These forums are an opportunity for the public to address committee members regarding burdensome costly or senseless state regulations. This legislative body will make recommendations to the General Assembly once the meetings are concluded. Over 40 of the approximately 100 attendees spoke in the Wilmington forum. We highly encourage members of the Charlotte business community to be present and provide feedback to this committee when they meet in Charlotte on Monday, March 21 (details TBD, I will distribute in a separate email as soon as these are released). For those who cannot make it to the physical meetings, the public may provide regulatory reform input by sending an email to email@example.com, submitting comments in an online form or you may share your ideas with me or Natalie English. For more information, visit the committee website at www.ncleg.net/regreform
Below is the schedule of the remaining meetings (details TBD):
In other regulatory news, the NC House gave final approval on Thursday to Senate Bill 22 which would limit the ability of state agencies to enact rules that add “substantial additional costs.” This measure, which is set to expire on June 30, 2012, now goes to the Governor’s desk for final approval.
On the federal regulatory front, President Obama issued Executive Order (EO) 13563, “Improving Regulation and Regulatory Review,” on January 18 (see summary of EO 13563 below). In response to the EO, The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is inviting the public to provide input on a plan that will guide EPA’s retrospective reviews of regulations. In an effort to use common sense and transparency to review federal regulations EPA is soliciting public input regarding the design of its plan via the EPA website through March 20, 2011. EPA will also provide opportunities for input through a public meeting in Washington, D.C. on March 14, and listening sessions in other parts of the country. These outreach efforts will allow the public to provide EPA with feedback on specific issues, impacts or programs. More information about these meetings will be announced soon. By late May, EPA will provide the public with its retrospective review plan, as well as the initial list of regulations it plans to review. More information about EPA’s retrospective review is available on the EPA website at: http://www.epa.gov/improvingregulations.
EO 13563 directs each federal agency to consider “how best to promote retrospective analysis of rules that may be outmoded, ineffective, insufficient, or excessively burdensome.” Specifically, the EO calls on every agency to develop “a preliminary plan, consistent with law and its resources and regulatory priorities, under which the agency will periodically review its existing significant regulations to determine whether such regulations should be modified, streamlined, expanded or repealed to make the agency’s regulatory program more effective and or less burdensome in achieving its regulatory objectives.”
As always, please do not hesitate to contact me (firstname.lastname@example.org or 704-957-3728) as I walk the halls of the legislative building representing you, the Charlotte business community. For minute by minute updates, follow me on twitter at www.twitter.com/Voice4BizCLT.