1,800 bills seated as North Carolina General Assembly nears end of session :: WRAL.com

Imagine this alternate reality for North Carolina: Every second of police body camera footage is reviewed by computer algorithms, and single-use plastic is illegal in restaurants.

Or another, where government grants are prohibited from funding free charging stations for electric vehicles, unless the stations also give out free gasoline.

These ideas are pending in the state legislature, though they have little chance of becoming law.

The odds are high that most of the bills will still be in the queue at this point in the legislative session. The leaders expect to close their business early next month and there are more than 1,800 outstanding invoices. More than half of them sit on House or Senate rules committees.

The good news: standards committees are often the last stop before bills reach the chamber and become law.

The bad news: they are also a parking lot. If your bill is introduced and a day later sent to a rules committee, it probably won’t go anywhere else.

Maybe your bill was a bad idea. Perhaps it is an idea whose time has not yet come. Maybe he’s a Democrat and the Republicans control the North Carolina General Assembly.

Maybe you’re a Republican, but the leaders just don’t like the idea, and neither do your colleagues. Maybe you have a powerful industry against you. Perhaps he introduced the bill too late to give it a legitimate chance, and his more immediate interest is in pointing out the problem on the campaign trail.

In a 170-person legislature — 120 in the House of Representatives and 50 in the state Senate — there are almost as many reasons as there are ideas.

Bills with a chance of passage usually get media coverage, but every now and then it’s worth diving into the well of doomed ideas to ask, “What if?” After all, every seat in the North Carolina General Assembly, and thus the right to decide between good and bad ideas, is up for grabs in the November election.

Here are some bills that are not expected to advance this session:

Add segregation score to school report cards. House Bill 948 would create a new “proportionality score” that would compare the demographics of each public K-12 school to the demographics of the county in which they are located. They would then be classified as highly proportional, proportional, somewhat proportional, or highly disproportionate in an effort to quantify how diverse or segregated the student population is. Schools would also get a new “equal access” score that indicates, among other things, how many teachers have at least three years of experience, the number of field trips offered, how much arts and music instruction is offered and the student ratio. to guidance counselors. The bill has five sponsors, all Democrats, and has been sitting in the House Rules Committee since May of last year.

Automatic analysis of police body cameras. House Bill 937 would use artificial intelligence to review body camera footage from law enforcement. Those computer programs would use “natural language processing technologies” to “identify flags” in the officer’s language and measure when “respect and detente fall below a minimum threshold” set by a state standards and training commission. The bill says that less than a tenth of a percentage of body camera footage worn by officers is ever reviewed and that so much video is being produced by law enforcement these days that it is “impossible for humans to analyze it.” “. At least one company, Truleo, produces this type of software, and the bill would allocate $6 million over two years for local law enforcement agencies to purchase software. The bill has 10 sponsors, all Democrats, and has been sitting in the House Rules Committee since May of last year.

Ban single-use and non-recyclable products. House Bill 959 would prohibit restaurants and other “prepared food retailers” from using plastic containers, plastic cutlery, or any other disposable food item unless it is reusable or compostable. Some restaurants may use Styrofoam containers, but only if your local government has a recycling program for it. The bill would also prohibit grocery stores and other retailers from handing out single-use plastic bags, except to contain meat, fish, poultry or produce. It was introduced in May of last year, has six sponsors, all Democrats, and has been sitting on the House Rules Committee since the day after it was introduced in May 2021.

Equitable Free Vehicle Fuel Stations. House Bill 1049 would prohibit the use of public funds to establish free electric vehicle charging stations unless free gasoline or diesel is also offered. The bill would also require businesses that offer free charges to include, on any receipt, the percentage of the customer’s total purchase that resulted from the cost of providing free charges. The bill has five sponsors, all Republicans, including state Rep. Ben Moss, who said taxpayers shouldn’t be footing the bill for free freight. The bill was introduced last month and has been sitting in the House Transportation Committee ever since.

Fiona Mae Wagglebottom Law. House Bill 1116 would make it illegal statewide to leave dogs on a leash outside when it’s below freezing, above 85 degrees, or during storms. It is named after State Representative Allison Dahle’s dog sponsorship and has 17 sponsors, all Democrats. He was introduced last month and has been sitting on the House Appropriations Committee. Some cities and counties have already made tethering illegal, but a statewide ban is unlikely to pass, at least not this year.
Many of the Republican leaders in the House and Senate oppose the animal welfare bills. They say any bill would be a slippery slope for animal rights bills that could harm or ban the state’s pig and poultry industries.

Sacred/doctor/patient relationship. Senate Bill 796 would prohibit the various state medical licensing boards from taking disciplinary action against doctors, nurses, or pharmacists who prescribe unproven COVID-19 remedies. The list is presented in the bill and includes hydroxychloroquine and ivermeticin, deworming drugs that are not approved by the US Food and Drug Administration for the treatment of COVID-19. The bill has a single sponsor, Sen. Ralph Hise, R-Mitchell, and has been sitting on the Senate Rules Committee since last month.

Intercept communications/consent from all parties. At this time, it is legal to record a phone call as long as at least one person knows that it is being recorded. House Bill 840 would turn that on its head, requiring all parties to consent. Otherwise, it would be a misdemeanor to record the call. This would not apply to law enforcement. The bill has a single sponsor, Rep. Tim Moffitt, R-Henderson. He has been on the House Rules Committee since May of last year.

Homes for Heroes. Senate Bill 812 is based on a proposal Governor Roy Cooper wrote in his budget plan. It would provide teachers, police officers, active duty military, veterans and other public servants by providing up to $25,000 to help cover a down payment on a home mortgage. Cooper asked for $50 million in his budget; this bill calls for $150 million. The bill has 16 sponsors, all Democrats, and has been in the Senate Appropriations Committee since last month.

Green Schools Save Money. House Bill 942 has $4.68 billion to boost energy efficiency in public schools. The money could be used to install high-efficiency lighting, replace pipe insulation, weatherize, upgrade HVAC systems, install solar panels and replace school buses that are more than 10 years old with electric vehicles that the bill says will they would have to be assembled. in state The measure has 21 sponsors, all Democrats, and has been in the Senate Rules Committee since May of last year.

WRAL Capitol Office Chief Laura Leslie and multi-platform senior producer Mark Bergin contributed to this report.

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