News: Quick Takes

NCGA roundup: Immigration reform, UNC Board of Governors on agenda

RALEIGH — State lawmakers have introduced a broad bill aimed at cracking down on certain undocumented immigrants.

The bill, sponsored by Rep. Harry Warren, R-Rowan, would increase penalties for people who manufacture or sell false ID cards. It would also make it more difficult for people not lawfully in the country to post bond if they’re arrested for certain offenses, such as a sex offense, a violent felony, a driving offense in which their license could be revoked, a drug offense, or a gang offense.

The bill, dubbed the Citizens Protection Act of 2017, allows law officers to transport to a federal custody facility someone who’s in the U.S. illegally. It would also require the state secretary of Revenue to withhold some revenue to cities that don’t comply with certain immigration enforcement procedures.

Meanwhile, the House by a 108-4 vote approved House Bill 39, reducing the number of members on the UNC Board of Governors from 32 to 24.

“A smaller board will be more effective and more efficient at being able to discharge its duties of truly being able to maintain a world-class university system,” said Rep. David Lewis, R-Harnett, a sponsor of the bill.

In a month or so, Lewis said, lawmakers will elect new members to the Board of Governors. “If you’re going to change the number of elected members to the board, you have to do that first before you can elect the members to that board,” Lewis said.

Rep. Verla Insko, D-Orange, said she discussed the bill with a number of former Board of Governors members. “They all said a smaller board would be more functional,” Insko said.

The House approved the bill after defeating an amendment offered by Rep. Mickey Michaux, D-Durham, that would have required that the makeup of the board to be “in proportion to the historic diversity of the constituent institutions.”

The bill now goes to the Senate.

Lawmakers continued filing bills. They included:

  • A bill changing emergency action plan requirements for certain dams (House Bill 56), introduced by Rep. Pat McElraft, R-Carteret.
  • A bill setting up an interstate compact for licensing physical therapist (H.B. 57), introduced by Rep. John Szoka, R-Cumberland.
  • A bill making technical changes to the state’s revenue laws (H.B. 59), introduced by Rep. Bill Brawley, R-Mecklenburg.
  • A bill providing tax relief for small businesses whose receipts do not exceed $1 million in a year (H.B. 61), introduced by Rep. Kyle Hall, R-Stokes.
  • A bill requiring health professionals to provide women considering a drug-induced abortion information about an option to discontinue using the drug and of the option to use a drug reversing its effects (H.B. 62), introduced by Rep. Larry Pittman, R-Cabarrus.
  • A bill requiring municipal elections to be held in even-numbered years beginning in 2022 (H.B. 64), introduced by Rep. Harry Warren, R-Rowan.
  • A bill requiring active prison time for conviction of felony death by vehicle or felony death by impaired driving (H.B. 65), Introduced by Rep. Larry Pittman, R-Cabarrus.
  • A bill increasing the cap requiring craft breweries to use wholesale distributors from 25,000 barrels a year to 100,000 barrels a year (H.B. 67), introduced by Rep. Michael Speciale, R-Craven
  • A bill allowing a law enforcement officer to have custody of a child if a court finds that the child is in danger (Senate Bill 53), introduced by Sen. Jim Davis, R-Macon.
  • A bill allowing cameras to be mounted on school buses for the civil enforcement of a motorist passing a school bus (S.B. 55), introduced by Sen. Tom McInnis, R-Richmond.
  • A bill allowing a retired veteran to use his or her military ID when applying for a pistol permit (S.B. 57), introduced by Sen. Ben Clark, D-Hoke.
  • A bill requiring local clerks of court to report names of people disqualified for serving as jurors to the State Board of Elections (S.B. 60), introduced by Sen. Joyce Krawiec, R-Forsyth.
  • A bill allowing a person holding a limited provisional driver’s license to drive later than 9 p.m. if the license holder is leaving class (S.B. 61), introduced by Sen. Dan Bishop, R-Mecklenburg.