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A look at some of the key legislation coming out of the NCGA so far this summer

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North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper delivers his State of the State address to a joint session of the North Carolina General Assembly in Raleigh, North Carolina, on March 6, 2023.

Photo Courtesy of Travis Long/The News & Observer/TNS.

This summer, the N.C. General Assembly has continued debating and passing pieces of important legislation that will impact North Carolinians. Here are some of the biggest pieces of legislation so far this summer. 

LGBTQ+ rights

The NCGA passed House Bill 547 — the Fairness in Women's Sports Act — on June 22, which legislation prohibits transgender athletes from participating in school sports. 

This bill would designate sex at birth. Additionally, transgender female athletes would not be able to partake in school sports on a middle, high school or collegiate level. Gov. Roy Cooper has not yet vetoed or signed the bill.

Sports betting 

Cooper signed House Bill 347, a piece of legislation that makes sports wagering legal across the state, into law on June 14.

H.B. 347 will legalize sports gambling and permit gambling corporations to run sports betting operations in the state.

Elections

Senate Bill 747, titled Election Law Changes, passed the N.C. Senate on June 21. A number of changes to the election process — like changing the deadline for the county boards of election to receive absentee ballots from three days after Election Day to 7:30 p.m. on Election Day.

Another elections bill that passed the Senate — S.B. 749, proposes changing the structure of the State Board of Elections by the NCGA making appointments through minority and majority party leaders.

Education

Cooper declared a state of emergency for public education in North Carolina following the introduction of bills including House Bill 823 — which includes the Opportunity Scholarship Program, a program allocating private school vouchers.

H.B. 823, which passed the House in May, would expand the program by removing income eligibility requirements for private school vouchers by 2032. 

Reproductive rights

The NCGA overrode Cooper’s veto of Senate Bill 20 — a law restricting abortion in North Carolina on May 16. Most parts of S.B. 20 are set to go into effect on July 1.

The law bans abortion in North Carolina after 12 weeks, but provides exceptions in the cases of rape, incest, fatal fetal anomaly and danger to the life of the mother. In cases of rape or incest, abortions will be prohibited after 20 weeks, while in cases of fetal anomaly they would be prohibited after 24 weeks. The bill does not impose a limit on abortion for cases where the mother's life is at risk.

Protesting

House Bill 40 — called the Prevent Rioting and Civil Disorder bill — would cause those who participate in riots while showing a weapon or using a dangerous substance with a Class H felony, which has a maximum sentence of 39 months in prison.

Earlier this month, the ACLU of North Carolina filed a lawsuit challenging certain provisions of H.B. 40.

@wslivingston_

@DTHCityState | city@dailytarheel.com

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Walker Livingston

Walker Livingston is the 2024 enterprise managing editor at The Daily Tar Heel. She has previously served as summer city & state editor and assistant city & state editor. Walker is a sophomore pursuing a double major in journalism and media and American studies, with a minor in data science. 

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