RALEIGH – Governor Roy Cooper signed nine bills last week, including three backed by Rowan County lawmakers.
Among the measures Cooper has signed is Representative Harry Warren’s bill that extends restrictions on the premises of sex offenders to those convicted of sexually exploiting a minor. The legislation is the result of Sgt. Johnny Lombard of the Rowan County Sheriff’s Office is working with heads of state to fill a little-known loophole in laws governing the state’s sex offender registry. Prior to Cooper’s signing, a person convicted of manufacturing, distributing or possessing child pornography was allowed to be on school property or other places frequented by children.
Another bill sponsored by Warren and enacted is HB 273, which excludes from property tax any increase in the value of residential real estate attributed to the construction of new townhouses when held for sale by a builder. The exemption would apply for up to three years and would come into effect for taxes imposed for tax years beginning on or after July 1, 2022.
Another signed bill comes from Rep. Julia Howard, a Republican representing parts of Rowan and Davie counties. Cooper signed HB 461, which clarifies the role of the state auditor and the term “investigations” as well as adding political subdivisions to the list of state agencies to watch.
Cooper also signed HB 481, which allows the UNC system to sell, trade, or dispose of surplus weapons. In addition, the law provides for a 20-year waiting period to ask the court to restore the rights to use firearms in the event of an out-of-state conviction.
Senate Bill 35 changes the minimum age for marriage in North Carolina to 16, with a maximum age difference of four years if you are under 18. Cooper said that even though he may not reach the minimum age of 18, it makes the state “a safer place for children.”
In addition, SB 301 allows for the delisting of up to three non-violent crimes. Cooper said the legislation will make it easier for some who have served time for non-violent crimes and are seeking to re-enter society.
Cooper’s other signatures went to bills that change state tuition rates for veterans to comply with federal law, allow additional standardized tests for freshmen in private schools Kindergarten to Grade 12 and amend the laws governing reinsurance credit and reserve funding.
Cooper vetoed SB 729, which would have made changes to state residency permit requirements for charter school teachers and made Superintendent of Public Education Catherine Truitt a voting member of the State Charter Schools Advisory Board. This would have removed an appointment from the state Board of Education. Truitt is a Republican and Cooper is a Democrat.
“The State Board of Education is constitutionally and statutorily responsible for administering the education of children in public schools across the state, including charter schools,” Cooper said in his veto message. “It is essential that the board of trustees have its two appointments to the Charter School Advisory Board to fulfill its constitutional functions.”
State Board of Elections launches initiative to debunk myths about election integrity
The North Carolina Council of Elections invites voters with questions or myths they wish to debunk regarding the integrity of the elections to send an email for a weekly “anti-mythus archive”.
Since July, the State Council has posted on its website and social media various rumors or questions related to the 2020 elections and accompanied them with an explanation, clarification or “reality”.
“Misinformation can confuse and undermine public confidence in elections,” the state Election Council website states. “Through these messages, we aim to educate the public and serve as a trusted source of election information.
Questions and rumors can be submitted to [email protected]
To date, rumors that have been debunked or clarified range from the inability of Democrats and Republicans to win a statewide election in the same year, to extended voting hours, to results determined on Day of the Day. voting and the fact that no audits were carried out for the 2020 elections.
Rumor has it, “If the results of election night change in the following days, the process must be compromised, so I cannot trust the results.” The Council of State’s response to this rumor is that provisional ballots and eligible postal ballots stamped on election day and received thereafter are added to the post-election results to formally certify the election. .
The State Council also details on its website how each election is secure. He says North Carolina equipment has been certified, tested, and audited in various other states, and all voting systems must use paper ballots for a “paper trail.” In addition, bipartisan and trained officials organize the elections, and additional post-election audits detect irregularities such as tampering with equipment, ballot stuffing, and counting errors on voting machines. Additionally, there has been no evidence of a successful cyber attack, and no voting machines are connected to the Internet for this reason.
North Carolina is also one of the few states with an investigative division for reports of election fraud and other irregularities.
“Every voter can help promote election security by voting, checking their ballot before casting it, reporting problems with the voting process to election officials and volunteering to participate in elections,” said the state Council. “In addition, voters should obtain election information from reliable sources, especially election officials, and verify election information before sharing it on social media. “
For more information on spotting or reporting false information, visit ncsbe.gov/about-elections/election-security/combating-misinformation.
Governor Cooper signs executive order for flexibility in certain law enforcement training courses
RALEIGH – Governor Roy Cooper signed an executive order last week waiving the rules for some law enforcement training courses to continue during the pandemic.
Cooper said Order 228 will provide flexibility and provide continuity for law enforcement officers, both current and new. The order overrides the rules of the North Carolina Justice Education and Training Standards Commission and the North Carolina Sheriff’s Education and Training Standards Commission which require multi-week training governed by the commissions for consecutive weeks.
The flexibility, Cooper says, will accommodate COVID-19 outbreaks and subsequent postponements of ongoing classes, preventing agents from having to restart.
“This ordinance is essential to ensure that our law enforcement can continue to serve and protect our communities by receiving the training they need,” Cooper said. “North Carolina law enforcement has stepped up during the pandemic, and we will continue to give them the support they need to do their jobs. “
The Council of State approved the ordinance.