This past Friday Pat McCrory cleaned his office of the bills that have been waiting for action since the legislature adjourned one month ago, signing nine of bills and letting two become law without his signature.
The pair of bills that he worries about will legalize cultivating industrial hemp in North Carolina, limit the terms of the UNC Board of Governors and amend the process of hiring a president for the university system.
Friday was the last day for him to act on the bills.
McCrory issued a descriptive explanation of his decision to allow the hemp legislation, Senate Bill 313, to become law without his support. “We want to get this right.”
However the hemp plant stems from marijuana and looks similar, and it lacks THC which is the active ingredient that makes marijuana a recreational drug.
The governor pushed for the legislature to take a closer observation at the regulatory requirements.
McCrory lashed out at the General Assembly about SB670, the UNC Board of Governors bill over how it was dealt with.
“I have concerns with legislation claiming to provide transparency being passed in the dead of night and waning days of a session,” McCrory stated.
Although limiting board members to three terms, the new law needs the board to consider at least three finalists when it hires a president of the UNC system. McCrory’s statement called for further talk about how best to make the hiring process transparent.
“We have many years until the next search and, therefore, ample opportunity to debate the effect of this legislation,” he stated.
McCrory signed nine bills on Friday, including three at a ceremony at the Charlotte Fire Department Headquarters that will benefit the families of first responders, veterans, and the National Guard.Senate Bill 37 extends a waiver of tuition for the UNC and community college systems to children whose legal guardians or custodians who died or were fully disabled while serving as police, firefighters, volunteer firefighters or rescue squad workers.
House Bill 709 expands eligibility for the state National Guard tuition assistance program to include those enrolled in a graduate certificate program.
House Bill 558 Expands the N.C. Military Affairs Commission by two members, who represent the National Guard or the military reserves.
Other bills signed into law Friday:
Senate Bill 698 — Allows hospitals to avoid going through a certification process again if they have closed within the past six months were already licensed and primarily provide physician services to in-patients.
The hospital in Belhaven, about 140 miles east of Raleigh, is in that position after a company took it over in 2011 and then closed it in July. Community leaders have lined up financing from a federal loan and are trying to re-open it as soon as possible.
Senate Bill 524 — Authorizes a pilot sports program for students with disabilities, and highlights instruction in the founding principles of the country.
House Bill 126 — Authorizes a registration system for those who process or underwrite residential mortgage loans.
House Bill 8 — Adds political party labels on ballots for N.C.
House Bill 215 — Establishes a procedure for defendants in criminal cases who want to waive their right to a jury trial and let a judge decide the case. Voters approved the change last year.
House Bill 327 — Conforms state law to new national standards for emergency medical personnel.