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The Legislative Drafting Division of the North Carolina General Assembly provides assistance to legislators in the preparation of bill drafts and bill introductions. In addition to the Director, this Division is staffed by legal analysts (primarily attorneys) and clerical staff. The enrolling, proofreading, and bill typing sections are located administratively within the Legislative Drafting Division.

Please visit The Drafting Process to learn more about our Division. Visit the Staff Directory to see who works in our Division.

Also, you will find Links to websites that we find helpful in our Division.

 

Number of Bill Filings Is Down This Session

We're now past the final deadlines for most bill introductions in the 2009 long session of the North Carolina General Assembly (resolutions and a few specific types of bills, such as redistricting bills, can still be filed). Total bill filings dropped by 23.6%, with a 19.4% drop in the House and a 29.2% drop in the Senate. When factoring out companion (i.e., identical) bills, there were 26% less total filings.

Here are comparison stats from 2009 and filings at that same point in the 2007 session:

House Senate Total
2009: 1651 1101 2752
2007: 2049 1555 3604
Change: -19.4% -29.2% -23.6%%

A companion bill is the same bill as another filed in the other house (they might be filed at the same time or later in the session). In 2007, there were 1137 companions, in 2009 there have been 926. Factoring these out, here's how many different bills were filed:

2009: 1826
2007: 2467
Change: -26.0%

The total bill drafting requests dropped by 16.6% between 2007 and 2009. The disparity between this number and the total bills filed indicates a sharp uptick in drafting reuqests that did not result in bills being filed. In 2007, a total of 3,948 drafting requests were made, resulting in 2,467 filings (62.7%), while in 2009 3,627 requests were made with 1,826 bills filed (50.3%).

In 2007, there were 24 House bills and resolutions and 20 Senate bills and resolutions filed after the deadlines.

Number of Bill Requests Similar to the Last Long Session

As of today, substantive bill requests received in 2009 compared with the same point in the 2007 session are down 0.22% (from 1818 to 1814). Blank bill requests have dropped from 66 to 26.

2007 2009 Change (2007 to 2009)
Research Division 206 228 +10.68%
Legislative Drafting Division 1678 1612 -3.93%
Blanks 66 26 -60.61%
Total 1884 1840 -2.34%
Substantive Total (Not Including Blank Bills) 1818 1814 -0.22%

Bill Drafting Deadlines for the 2009 Long Session

House Deadlines:
Type To Bill Drafting by 4pm Filed in House by 3pm
Local Bills Wednesday, March 18 Wednesday, April 1
Public Bills (Not Appropriations or Finance) Wednesday, March 26 Wednesday, April 8
Appropriations and Finance Bills Wednesday, April 22 Wednesday, May 6

Senate Deadlines:
Type To Bill Drafting by 4pm Filed in House by 3pm
Local Bills Tuesday, March 3 Wednesday, March 11
Public Bills & Resolutions Friday, March 13 Wednesday, March 25

Crossover Deadline: Thursday, May 14

Pre-Session Bill Drafting Requests Increase Slows

Examining bill drafting requests from one week before session in 2009 versus 2007 we see a much smaller increase as of today, one week before session, than the snapshot from two weeks ago when it was up over 20% session to session as of three weeks before opening gavel.

2007 2009 Change
Research Division 109 97 -11.01%
Legislative Drafting Division 424 457 7.78%
Total 533 554 3.94%

Pre-Session Bill Drafting Requests for 2009 Compared with 2007

As of 21 calendar days before the 2009 session, compared with 21 calendar days before the 2007 session, the number of bill requests received has increased. This may be a result of study committees being more active than usual.

2007 2009 Change
Research Division 66 76 15.15%
Legislative Drafting Division 288 351 21.88%
Total 354 427 20.62%

Bill Drafting Requests Up from Previous Biennial Sessions

The tables below compare total bill requests for the 2007-2008 biennial session and preceding biennial sessions. These figures do not include blank bill requests, the number of which dropped dramatically once the House rules banned them and the Senate limited each member to two of them. Staff workload is up 6% from 2005, up 61% from 2003, and up 67% from 2001.

Total drafting requests for each biennial session, excluding blank bills:

2007-2008 2005-2006 2003-2004 2001-2002
Bill Drafting Division 4986 4687 2920 3103
Research Division 707 680 613 298
Total 5693 5367 3533 3401

Percentage increase and decrease from one bienneial session to another:

2005 to 2007 2003 to 2007 2001 to 2007
Bill Drafting Division +6.4% +70.8% +60.7%
Research Division +4.0% +15.3% +137.2%
Total +6.1% +61.1% +67.4%

Bill Drafting Requests Up 78% from 2002

The chart below compares bill drafting requests from the past four short sessions. While our workload was up 78% comparing 2008 with 2002 and up 35% comparing 2008 with 2004, it was off 30% from 2006, which was a welcome relief.

The table below compares end of short session total requests:

2008 2006 2004 2002
Bill Drafting Division 1274 1927 889 714
Research Division 273 269 258 154
Total Draft Requests 1547 2196 1147 868

The table below displays percentage increases and decreases from one session to another:

2006 to 2008 2004 to 2008 2002 to 2008
Bill Drafting Division -33.9% +43.3% +78.4%
Research Division +1.5% +5.8% +77.3%
Total -29.6% +34.9% +78.2%

Veto of House Bill 2167 Overridden

By a 93-7 vote in the House and 39-0 in the Senate, Governor Easley's veto of House Bill 2167 was overridden yesterday.

In accordance with G.S. 120-29.1, the bill was certified as a law by Senate Principal Clerk Janet Pruitt. The relevant portion of 120-29.1(c) provides:

"When any such bill becomes law after reconsideration of the two houses, the principal clerk of the second house to act shall, below the objections of the Governor, sign the following certificate: "Became law notwithstanding the objections of the Governor, ________.m. this ________ day of ________, ________". The principal clerk of the second house to act shall fill in the time. The enrolling clerk shall deposit the measure with the Secretary of State."

This is the first gubernatorial veto ever overridden in North Carolina (see this). Veto power was first granted to the Governor by a constitutional amendment in 1996. While the Governor could veto bills in colonial times, such vetoes could not be overridden.

General Assembly to Reconvene to Consider Veto of House Bill 2167

Governor Easley has called the General Assembly back into session to reconsider H2167 ("Towing of Recreational Boats/Exemption"), which the Governor vetoed. The session will take place at 11:00am on Wednesday, August 27, 2008. The Governor's proclamation is available here.

The relevant sections of the North Carolina Constitution are Article III, Section 5(11) (regarding the Governor's duty to reconvene the General Assembly to reconsider a vetoed bill), Article II, Section 22(7), (regarding the consequences of a veto generally), and Article II, Section 22(1) (requiring three-fifths of members present and voting to override veto).

Governor Easley Signs Final Four Bills

On Sunday, August 17, 2008, Governor Easley signed the final four bills on his desk:

S.L. # Bill # Short Title HTML PDF
2008-225 S1697 Toll Enforcement Authority Changes HTML PDF
2008-226 H2623 Emergency Foreclosure Reduction Program HTML PDF
2008-227 H2188 Earlier Notification of Mortgage Servicer Fee HTML PDF
2008-228 H2463 Regulate Mortgage Servicers HTML PDF

This concludes action on all bills from the 2007 Regular Session, other than the gubernatorial veto of House Bill 2167.

Governor Easley Vetoes House Bill 2167

Governor Easley vetoed H2167 ("Towing of Recreational Boats/Exemption") on August 17. The Governor's objections and veto message are available here. His veto signature is available here.

Other vetoes since 1997 are listed here.

Under Article II, Section 22 of the North Carolina Constitution, if a bill is vetoed, the Governor must reconvene the session to consider an override, unless a majority of the members of each house sign a statement that a reconvened session is not necessary. The session can be held at any time after the veto, but it must convene not later than Wednesday, August 27, 2008, the 40th day after adjournment.

Here are the applicable constitutional provisions:

Article II, Section 22(7) of the North Carolina Constitution states in pertinent part that if the Governor vetoes a bill after adjournment:

“When the General Assembly has adjourned sine die … Governor shall reconvene that session … for reconsideration of the bill, and if the Governor does not reconvene the session, the bill shall become law on the fortieth day after such adjournment. Notwithstanding the previous sentence, if the Governor prior to reconvening the session receives written requests dated no earlier than 30 days after such adjournment, signed by a majority of the members of each house that a reconvened session to reconsider vetoed legislation is unnecessary, the Governor shall not reconvene the session for that purpose and any legislation vetoed in accordance with this section after adjournment shall not become law.”

Article III, Section 5(11) of the North Carolina Constitution states in pertinent part:

(11) Reconvened sessions … At such reconvened session, the General Assembly may only consider such bills as were returned by the Governor to that reconvened session for reconsideration. Such reconvened session shall begin on a date set by the Governor, but no later than 40 days after the General Assembly adjourned… sine die”

Governor Signs 13 More Bills Since Monday, August 11

Governor Easley has signed 13 bills since Monday, August 11. The new laws are as follows.

Bill signed on Monday, August 11:

S.L. # Bill # Short Title HTML PDF
2008-212 S847 Prevent Agricultural Pesticide Exposure HTML PDF

Bills signed on Friday, August 15:

S.L. # Bill # Short Title HTML PDF
2008-213 H2542 Clarify Ethics and Lobbying Laws HTML PDF
2008-214 H274 Street Gang Prevention Act HTML PDF
2008-215 S1875 Clarify Auditor Hotline Authority/Sec HTML PDF

Bills signed on Saturday, August 16:

S.L. # Bill # Short Title HTML PDF
2008-216 H2340 Transporting Children in Open Bed of Vehicle HTML PDF
2008-217 H2487 Change Format of Drivers Licenses/Under 21 HTML PDF
2008-218 S132 Protect Children From Sexual Predators Act HTML PDF
2008-219 S1924 Require Carbon Monoxide Detectors HTML PDF
2008-220 S1736 Sex Offender/Register E-Mail Address HTML PDF

Bills signed on Sunday, August 17:

S.L. # Bill # Short Title HTML PDF
2008-221 S1695 Vehicle Size and Weight Changes HTML PDF
2008-222 S1339 Gasoline and Fuel Alcohol Blending HTML PDF
2008-223 S942 Prohibit Restricting Newspaper Distribution HTML PDF
2008-224 S1314 Amend Massage & Bodywork Therapy Act HTML PDF

Under Article II, Section 22 of the North Carolina Constitution, the Governor has 30 days after adjournment to act on all pending bills, with July 19 being day one. The 30-day period concludes at midnight, Sunday, August 17, 2008. Any bills not acted on by the deadline become law on Monday, August 18, 2008. Bills sent to the Governor prior to adjournment where the 10-day limit had not run out at adjournment have a new 30-day clock.

2008 laws enacted are listed here in order of becoming law, and here in order of bill number. These links are normally updated within a few business hours of action being taken.

Governor Signs 27 More Bills Since Thursday

Governor Easley has signed 27 bills since Thursday. The new laws are as follows.

Bills signed on Thursday, August 7:

S.L. # Bill # Short Title HTML PDF
2008-185 S1541 Interstate Compact/Educ. of Military Children HTML PDF
2008-186 H2785 State Take Cape Fear Locks/DAMS 1,2, and 3 HTML PDF
2008-187 S1632 2008 Technical Corrections Act HTML PDF
2008-188 S1627 Certified Retirement Community Program HTML PDF
2008-189 S1214 Amend Interstate Compact/Adult Offenders.-AB HTML PDF

Bills signed on Friday, August 8:

S.L. # Bill # Short Title HTML PDF
2008-190 S1787 Vehicle Registration/Inspection Changes.-AB HTML PDF
2008-191 S1860 Amend Child Abuse/Child Fatality Task Force HTML PDF
2008-192 S2015 School of Arts/Name Change HTML PDF
2008-193 S2056 Court Fee Exemption HTML PDF
2008-194 H545 Clarify and Amend Various Provisions HTML PDF
2008-195 H2498 Underground Storage Tank Pgrm Amends-2008 HTML PDF
2008-196 S1652 Prog. Eval. Div./Technical Amendments HTML PDF
2008-197 S685 UP Penalties Cross Burn/Illeg. to Hang Noose HTML PDF
2008-198 S845 Amend Env. Laws/Env. Tech. Corrections 2008 HTML PDF
2008-199 S1955 Limited Release from Prison for Deportation HTML PDF
2008-200 S1766 Liability Protection for Private Entities HTML PDF
2008-201 S1797 State Tire Contract HTML PDF
2008-202 S1799 DMV Record Checks and License Changes HTML PDF
2008-203 S1946 Codify Energy Efficiency in Public Buildings HTML PDF
2008-204 S1925 UNC Nonapp. Cap. Projects/Airport Authority HTML PDF

Bills signed on Saturday, August 9:

S.L. # Bill # Short Title HTML PDF
2008-205 H2768 Orange/Hunting on Private Property HTML PDF
2008-206 H2558 Home Inspector Privilege License HTML PDF
2008-207 H2530 Solid Waste Tax Changes/Unsalable OTP Refund HTML PDF
2008-208 H819 Electronic Recycling Amends/Add TVs HTML PDF
2008-209 H15 Some Personal Leave Time/No Penalty HTML PDF
2008-210 S2081 NICS Reporting/Restoration HTML PDF
2008-211 S1967 Improve Coastal Stormwater Management HTML PDF

18 bills remain pending on the Governor's desk as of Monday morning, August 11, 2008. The list is available here.

45 Bills Remain Pending on the Governor's Desk

At the close of business yesterday, there were 45 bills pending on the Governor's desk. These bills are:

Bill # Short Title Pres. to Gov.
H15 Some Personal Leave Time/No Penalty 07/14/2008
H274 Street Gang Prevention Act 07/16/2008
H545 (=S613) Clarify and Amend Various Provisions 07/14/2008
H819 (=S844) Electronic Recycling Amends/Add TVs 07/17/2008
H2167 Towing of Recreational Boats/Exemption 07/17/2008
H2188 Earlier Notification of Mortgage Servicer Fee 07/10/2008
H2340 Transporting Children in Open Bed of Vehicle 07/18/2008
H2463 Regulate Mortgage Servicers 07/09/2008
H2487 (=S1891) Change Format of Drivers Licenses/Under 21 07/09/2008
H2498 (=S1936) Underground Storage Tank Pgrm Amends-2008 07/17/2008
H2530 Solid Waste Tax Changes/Unsalable OTP Refund 07/17/2008
H2542 (=S1874) Clarify Ethics and Lobbying Laws 07/18/2008
H2558 Home Inspector Privilege License 07/18/2008
H2623 Emergency Foreclosure Reduction Program 07/17/2008
H2768 Orange/Hunting on Private Property 07/15/2008
H2785 (=S2157) State Take Cape Fear Locks/DAMS 1, 2, and 3 07/16/2008
S132 Protect Children From Sexual Predators Act 07/18/2008
S685 =(H690) UP Penalties Cross Burn/Illeg. to Hang Noose 07/18/2008
S845 (=H820) Amend Env. Laws/Env. Tech. Corrections 2008 07/18/2008
S847 (=H822) Prevent Agricultural Pesticide Exposure 07/10/2008
S942 Prohibit Restricting Newspaper Distribution 07/16/2008
S1214 Amend Interstate Compact/Adult Offenders.-AB 07/17/2008
S1314 (=H1426) Amend Massage & Bodywork Therapy Act 07/15/2008
S1339 Gasoline and Fuel Alcohol Blending 07/14/2008
S1541 Interstate Compact/Educ. of Military Children 07/10/2008
S1627 (=H2269) Certified Retirement Community Program 07/18/2008
S1632 (=H2177) 2008 Technical Corrections Act 07/18/2008
S1652 (=H2100) Prog. Eval. Div./Technical Amendments 07/17/2008
S1695 (=H2408) Vehicle Size and Weight Changes 07/17/2008
S1697 Toll Enforcement Authority Changes 07/18/2008
S1736 (=H2341) Sex Offender/Register E-Mail Address 07/15/2008
S1766 (=H2407) Liability Protection for Private Entities 07/14/2008
S1787 (=H2310) Vehicle Registration/Inspection Changes.-AB 07/15/2008
S1797 (=H2309) State Tire Contract 07/18/2008
S1799 (=H2319) DMV Record Checks and License Changes 07/17/2008
S1860 (=H2339) Amend Child Abuse/Child Fatality Task Force 07/15/2008
S1875 (=H2544) Clarify Auditor Hotline Authority/Sec. 07/18/2008
S1924 (=H2471) Require Carbon Monoxide Detectors 07/14/2008
S1925 UNC Nonapp. Cap. Projects/Airport Authority 07/18/2008
S1946 (=H2532) Codify Energy Efficiency in Public Buildings 07/14/2008
S1955 Limited Release from Prison for Deportation 07/09/2008
S1967 (=H2138) Improve Coastal Stormwater Management 07/15/2008
S2015 (=H2721) School of Arts/Name Change 07/14/2008
S2056 Court Fee Exemption 07/17/2008
S2081 (=H2747) NICS Reporting/Restoration 07/18/2008

Day 19 of 30: One Bill Signed

Governor Easley signed one bill into law on Wednesday, August 6th, 2008, day 19 of 30 for gubernatorial action. This leaves 45 bills pending on the Governors' desk.

The new law is:

S.L. # Bill # Short Title HTML PDF
2008-184 S1796 Special Assistance/Income Disregard HTML PDF

Under Article II, Section 22 of the North Carolina Constitution, the Governor has 30 days after adjournment to act on all pending bills, with July 19 being day one. The 30-day period concludes at midnight, Sunday, August 17, 2008. Any bills not acted on by the deadline become law on Monday, August 18, 2008. Bills sent to the Governor prior to adjournment where the 10-day limit had not run out at adjournment have a new 30-day clock.

2008 laws enacted are listed here in order of becoming law, and here in order of bill number. These links are normally updated within a few business hours of action being taken.

Governor Easley Signs 16 More Bills

Governor Easley signed 16 more bills into law Monday, August 5, 2008, leaving 46 pending.

The 16 new laws are:

S.L. # Bill # Short Title HTML PDF
2008-168 H2443 State Health Plan HTML PDF
2008-169 H2492 Amend Release of Juvenile Escape Info HTML PDF
2008-170 H1113 State Tort Claims/Public Duty Doctrine HTML PDF
2008-171 H1889 Wildlife Land Property Tax Changes HTML PDF
2008-172 H2265 School Bus Exempt from Duplicate Inspection HTML PDF
2008-173 H2105 Compensation for Erroenously Convicted HTML PDF
2008-174 H2306 Children W/ Disab. in Resid. Tratemtn Prog. HTML PDF
2008-175 H2308 CDL/Federal Compliance.-AB HTML PDF
2008-176 H2313 Permitting and Building Code Changes HTML PDF
2008-177 H2353 Irrigation Contractors Licensure/Fees HTML PDF
2008-178 H2341 Child Passenger Safety Technician Liability HTML PDF
2008-179 H2338 Hospital Report Child Injuries HTML PDF
2008-180 H2314 Voluntary County Participation/DOT.-AB HTML PDF
2008-181 H2431 Studies Act of 2008 HTML PDF
2008-182 H2391 No Auto. Revoke/Driv. Lic./Incompetent Person HTML PDF
2008-183 H2397 Nurs. Home Admin Crim. Hist. HTML PDF

Governor Easley Signs 24 More Bills

Governor Easley signed 24 more bills over the weekend, leaving 62 still pending.

The 24 new laws are:

S.L. # Bill # Short Title HTML PDF
2008-144 S1852 Tax on Short-term Heavy Equipment Rentals HTML PDF
2008-145 S1957 NCGA Police Powers HTML PDF
2008-146 S1878 Property Tax Modifications HTML PDF
2008-147 S2075 Economic Development Modifications HTML PDF
2008-148 S1716 Supplemental PEG Support HTML PDF
2008-149 S1681 Smoke-Free Motor Fleet HTML PDF
2008-150 S1263 Election Law Amendments HTML PDF
2008-151 S963 City Firefighters/Overtime Pay HTML PDF
2008-152 S1885 Promote Private Compensatory Mitigation HTML PDF
2008-153 S1651 Anatomical Gifts HTML PDF
2008-154 H2509 Sales Tax Refund for Certain Nonprofits HTML PDF
2008-155 H2496 State Parks System Additions HTML PDF
2008-156 S1800 MV Definitions/Fed. Compliance/ATV Use HTML PDF
2008-157 S741 UI/Advance Payments HTML PDF
2008-158 S1407 Resale of Tickets via Internet HTML PDF
2008-159 H1230 Nonprofit ABC Law Changes HTML PDF
2008-160 H2570 Create Permit for Movement of Trailer Frames HTML PDF
2008-161 H2410 Special Asst. Income Disregard Study HTML PDF
2008-162 H2432 Study/Local Disaster Mgmt. Capability HTML PDF
2008-163 H1563 Extend Fire and Rescue Death Benefits HTML PDF
2008-164 H2318 DOT/Partnership Agreements/Construction.-AB HTML PDF
2008-165 H1770 Future Conveyances/Special Assessments HTML PDF
2008-166 H2409 Multiunit Asst. Housing Svs. Regis. Fee. HTML PDF
2008-167 H887 Amend Criminal Offense of Stalking HTML PDF

Today, August 5th, is Day 17 of 30 for gubernatorial action.

Day 10 of 30: Governor Easley Signs 26 Bills

Governor Easley signed 26 bills into law on Monday, July 28, 2008, day ten of 30 days for gubernatorial action. This leaves 87 bills pending on the Governor’s desk.

The 26 new laws are:

S.L. # Bill # Short Title HTML PDF
2008-117 H933 Jessica Lunsford Act for NC HTML PDF
2008-118 H2438 2008 Budget Technical Corrections HTML PDF
2008-119 S4 Report Race and Ethnicity Data-Public Health HTML PDF
2008-120 S175 Interstate Wildlife Violator Compact HTML PDF
2008-121 H93 Transport of Indiv. in Wheelchair Study HTML PDF
2008-122 S180 Prohibit Certain Game Promotion HTML PDF
2008-123 H685 Allow Smart Start to Retain Unexpended Funds HTML PDF
2008-124 H738 Insurance Changes HTML PDF
2008-125 H821 Specify Out-of-State Areas For IBT Notice HTML PDF
2008-126 S212 Local Park and Rec Participant Records HTML PDF
2008-127 H964 Expand Definition of Home Care Services HTML PDF
2008-128 S944 Change Penalty for Hit and Run Violations HTML PDF
2008-129 H1003 Probation Violation Changes HTML PDF
2008-130 S2117 Amend Substance Abuse Professionals Act HTML PDF
2008-131 S1770 Expand Medical Examiner Jurisdiction/Funds HTML PDF
2008-132 H2728 Supplemental Retirement Bd Trustees/Inv Emp HTML PDF
2008-133 H1624 Frequency of Parole Reviews HTML PDF
2008-134 S1704 Rev Laws Tech., Clarifying, & Admin Changes HTML PDF
2008-135 H1076 Fee Waiver/UNC & Community Colleges HTML PDF
2008-136 H1134 Cleanup of Abandoned Manufactured Homes HTML PDF
2008-137 S1046 Yadkin Project Study HTML PDF
2008-138 H1549 Amend Appt. Process for Auctioneers Comm/n HTML PDF
2008-139 H1284 Breach/Construction Contract Accrual Date HTML PDF
2008-140 S1259 Public Water Service Warranties HTML PDF
2008-141 S1340 Sale of Blocks of Ten-Day CRFLs HTML PDF
2008-142 S1100 SHP Funeral Expenses HTML PDF

Under Article II, Section 22 of the Constitution, the Governor has 30 days after adjournment to act on all pending bills, with July 19 being day one. The 30-day period concludes at midnight, Sunday, August 17, 2008. Any bills not acted on by the deadline become law on Monday, August 18, 2008. Bills sent to the Governor prior to adjournment where the 10-day limit had not run out at adjournment have a new 30-day clock.

2008 laws enacted are listed here in order of becoming law, and here in order of bill number. These links are normally updated within a few business hours of action being taken.

2008 Short Session Adjournment Earlier Than the Norm

The 2008 short session of the General Assembly adjourned sine die on July 18, 2008. This is the third earliest adjournment of the last 10 short sessions, and the 40 legislative days the second fewest in two decades. Here are the short session adjournment dates for the last 20 years, compiled by the Legislative Library:

Short Session Adjournment
2008 July 18
2006 July 28
2004 July 18
2002 October 4
2000 July 13
1998 October 29
1996 August 3
1994 July 17
1992 July 25
1990 July 28

Day 6 of 30: Zero of 113 Bills Signed

As of close of business Thursday, July 24, 2008, day six of 30 days for gubernatorial action, none of the 113 bills pending on the Governor’s desk at adjournment of the 2007 Regular Session on July 18, 2008 had been signed.

Under Article II, Section 22 of the North Carolina Constitution, the Governor has 30 days after adjournment to act on all pending bills, with July 19 being day one. The 30-day period concludes at midnight, Sunday, August 17, 2008. Any bills not acted on by the deadline become law on Monday, August 18, 2008. Bills sent to the Governor prior to adjournment where the 10-day limit had not run out at adjournment have a new 30-day clock.

2008 laws enacted are listed here in order of becoming law, and here in order of bill number.

2007 Regular Session Ends

The 2007 Regular Session of the North Carolina General Assembly adjourned sine die ("without date") at 4:50pm on Friday, July 18, 2008. 229 bills received final action in the General Assembly in 2008, with 116 already law and 113 pending on the Governor's desk. 31 joint resolutions were also ratified.

By way of comparison, the 2006 Short Session saw 264 bills enacted and 24 joint resolutions ratified.

Under Article II, Section 22 of the North Carolina Constitution, the Governor has 30 days after adjournment to act on all pending bills, with July 19 being day one of this period. The 30-day period concludes at midnight on Sunday, August 17, 2008. Any bills not acted on by the deadline become law on Monday, August 18, 2008. Bills sent to the Governor prior to adjournment for which the 10-day limit had not run out at adjournment have a new 30-day clock.

As of the close of business Tuesday, July 22, 2008, day four of 30 days for gubernatorial action, none of the 113 bills pending on the Governor's desk at adjournment had been signed.

Laws enacted in 2008 are listed here in order of becoming law, and here in order of bill number.

Tracking Bills as the Legislative Pace Picks Up

As the 2008 Regular Session of the North Carolina General Assembly speeds up, there are a few bill tracking features on this website worth pointing out:

  1. Bill and joint resolutions that have been enacted in 2008, arranged by enactment date, or by bill number.
  2.  
  3. Public bills signed by the Governor, covering both 2007 and 2008, arranged by bill number.
  4.  
  5. Bills acted on during the 2008 short session.
  6.  
  7. Bills pending on the Governor's Desk.
  8.  
  9. Bills scheduled to be ratified. Bills in this category have all parliamentary stages excpet signature by the presiding officers in the House and Senate. Ratification is the step before public bills go to the Governor or local bills become law.
  10.  
  11. Bills in conference.
  12.  
  13. General Statutes amended by bills enacted in 2008.
  14.  
  15. Additional reports are available on our Bill reports page.

Most of these are current within a day, but some actions on Thursday evenings, Fridays, and weekends by the Governor are often not shown until Monday afternoon.

Gerry Cohen to Receive Carter-Hellard Staff Excellence Award

The following email was sent to legislators and staff by Legislative Services Officer George Hall on June 3:

I am pleased to announce that Gerry Cohen, Director of Bill Drafting, was selected among his peers at the SLC Legislative Service Agency Directors Meeting in Lexington, KY to receive the Carter-Hellard Staff Excellence Award. Gerry will receive the award at the Southern Legislative Conference Annual Meeting in Oklahoma City in July.

Each year the LSA Directors present the Carter/Hellard Staff Excellence Award to a legislative staff member in the South who has demonstrated distinguished service to their state's legislature. Among the criteria for selection is a staff member who "has demonstrated a longstanding commitment to the legislative institution and a clear vision and understanding of the role of legislative staffing in representative government; participated in the provision of staff work resulting in systemic public policy reform or institutional improvement, and constistently approached his/her legislative work with grace and good humor under pressure." We feel the criteria set forth for this award perfectly describes Gerry.

Congratulations Gerry!

Biennium Bill Requests Highest Since 1913

With filings today, the 4,962 total bills and 2,164 Senate bills filed in 2007-2008 are the highest since the 1913 Session of the North Carolina General Assembly saw 5,627 and 2,660 respectively. The House total of 2,798 bills filed in 2007-2008 was exceeded in the past century only by 2,967 in 1913 and 2,895 in 2005. The 2007-2008 totals include a total of 10 House bills and four Senate bills for the two extra sessions.

Totals for each biennial session appear below (regular sessions have been held each year since 1973). The totals include special sessions. The high totals in the 1911 session promted then Governor W.W. Kitchin to send a special message to the General Assembly, stating that "Special legislation is the greatest scourge of government." The 1913 session, while considering the record 5,627 bills, passed a constitutional amendment to greatly restrict local and special legislation. That amendment was rejected by the voters, but a revised version was passed again in 1915 and approved by the voters in 1916, which banned 26 categories of bills. Bill filings gradually trailed off through 1943, when they began to climb again. The lowest total bills in the past century occurred in 1943 when 1,223 bills were filed.

Session House Senate Total
2007** 2,798 2,164 4,962
2005 2,895 2,066 4,961
2003** 1,826 1,455 3,281
2001* 1,831 1,489 3,320
1999 1,873 1,564 3,437
1997* 1,770 1,608 3,378
1995** 1,542 1,547 3,089
1993* 2,366 1,905 4,271
1991* 1,705 1,285 2,990
1989* 2,415 1,638 4,053
1987 2,659 1,869 4,528
1985* 2,151 1,312 3,463
1983* 1,813 905 2,718
1981** 1,690 877 2,567
1979 1,775 1,107 2,882
1977 1,696 1,030 2,726
1975 1,341 970 2,311
1973 2,193 1,508 3,701
1971*** 1,610 1,011 2,621
1969 1,437 910 2,347
1967 1,433 750 2,183
1965** 1,206 626 1,832
1963* 1,405 709 2,114
1961 1,263 512 1,775
1959 1,363 517 1,880
1957 1,452 534 1,986
1955* 1,422 607 2,029
1953 1,336 489 1,825
1951 1,237 623 1,860
1949 1,343 491 1,834
1947 1,129 481 1,610
1945 1,000 445 1,445
1943 858 365 1,223
1941 966 353 1,319
1939* 1,187 509 1,696
1937**** 1,326 512 1,838
1935 1,511 649 2,160
1933 1,711 758 2,469
1931 1,495 660 2,155
1929 1,697 1,487 3,184
1927 1,742 1,620 3,362
1925 1,808 1,566 3,374
1923* 2,224 2,044 4,187
1921 1,565 1,382 2,947
1919* 2,143 2,044 4,187
1917 1,943 1,738 3,681
1915 2,150 1,954 4,104
1913* 2,967 2,660 5,627
1911 2,195 1,959 4,154
1909 2,075 1,875 3,950

*one extra session in biennium

**two extra sessions in biennium

***1971 regular session reconvened in October after July recess

****two extra sessions in biennium, one just after election in 1936 under old constitutional provision that terms of members started upon election.


Remaining Categories of Eligible Bills in the Short Session

With the passing of today's 4:00 pm deadline for local and pension bills, only the following categories of bills and resolutions remain eligible for introduction in the 2008 short session under the adjournment resolution. There is no deadline on any of these other than (12). note that bills under category (7) can not be filed until an authorizing resolution has passed each house by a 2/3 vote.

.....

(2) Bills amending the Constitution of North Carolina

.....

(6) Selection, appointment, or confirmation of members of State boards and commissions as required by law, including the filling of vacancies of positions for which the appointees were elected by the General Assembly upon recommendation of the Speaker of the House of Representatives, President of the Senate, or President Pro Tempore of the Senate.

(7) Any matter authorized by joint resolution passed during the 2008 Regular Session by a two-thirds majority of the members of the House of Representatives present and voting and by a two-thirds majority of the members of the Senate present and voting. A bill or resolution filed in either house under the provisions of this subdivision shall have a copy of the ratified enabling resolution attached to the jacket before filing for introduction in the Senate or introduction in the House of Representatives.

(8) A joint resolution authorizing the introduction of a bill pursuant to subdivision (7) of this section.

.....

(10) Joint Resolutions, House resolutions, and Senate resolutions authorized for introduction under Senate Rule 40(b) or House Rule 31.

(11) A joint resolution adjourning the 2007 Regular Session, sine die.

(12) Bills to disapprove rules under G.S. 150B-21.3.

Notes: Resolutions under category (10) might include those honoring the memory of a deceased former member, authorize a study of a subject by the Legislative Research Commission, or deal with some matter internal to the procedures of either house or the General Assembly. bills in category (12) must be filed by the end of the 30th legislative day, which is Wednesday, July 2, assuming sessions only on Monday-Thursday prior to that date.


Short Session Bill Requests Down from 2006 Short Session

All bill request deadlines for the 2008 Short Session have now passed, and while the overall number of requests was up from 2002 and 2004, the number was considerably less than it was in the last Short Session in 2006. The chart below displays the number of bill requests received by each division during the last four Short Sessions.

Division 2008 2006 2004 2002
Bill Drafting Division 1189 1875 889 714
Research Division 251 256 258 154
Total Requests 1440 2131 1147 868

The chart below displays the increase or decrease in the number of bill requests received this Short Session compared to previous Short Sessions in the form of a percentage.


Division 2006 to 2008 2004 to 2008 2002 to 2008
Bill Drafting Division -36.6% 33.7% 66.5
Research Division -2.0% -2.7% 63.0%
Total Requests -32.4% 25.5% 65.9%

Note: all comparisons are to the eleventh (11th) legislative day.

2008 House/Senate Deadlines

Drafts To Bill Drafting By 4:00 PM Filed in House/Senate By 4:00 PM
Study Bills Wednesday, May 14 Wednesday, May 21
Bills Affecting 2007-2008 Budget Friday, May 16 Tuesday, May 27
Local Bills Wednesday, May 21 Wednesday, May 28
Bills Affecting Pension or Retirement Systems Wednesday, May 21 Wednesday, May 28

Eligible but no deadlines:

(1) Appointments to and confirmation of members of State boards and commissions

(2) State Constitutional amendments

(3) Resolutions honoring deceased persons

(4) Resolutions authorizing other bills (two-thirds vote of both houses required)


Eligible with deadline:

Bills disapproving administrative rules (30th legislative day)

Legislative Drafting Division's Website Now Online

The Legislative Drafting Division's website is now online! This site will be updated on a regular basis.

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