Ratified House Legislative Bills Summary 2009 Session

HB 2 Prohibit Smoking in Public and Work Places (H. Holliman) An act to prohibit smoking in certain public places and certain places of employment. The bill expands the restrictions on smoking to restaurants and further allows local governments to implement stricter regulations. It also lays out the penalties for violation of this law. Effective January 2, 2010.

HB 9 No Texting While Driving (G. Pierce) To make it unlawful to use additional technology associated with a mobile phone to type in text messages while operating a vehicle on a public street or highway or public vehicular area. There are exceptions if the vehicle is parked or stopped and other miscellaneous uses are allowed. Violation of this law for school bus drivers is a Class 2 misdemeanor and not less than a $100 fine. All other violators are subject to $100 fine. Effective December 1, 2009.

HB 18 Speech Language Pathologist Qualifications (B. Faison) Amends the specific experience hours of the four hundred clock hours required for permanent licensure as a Speech and Language Pathologist to 20 hours. Corrects a statutory error in the number of hours required. Effective June 19, 2009.

HB 42 Science Safety in the Public Schools (R. Glazier) To implement science safety measures in the public schools. Requires LEAs prior to July 1, 2010 and annually thereafter to certify to the SBE that its middle school and high school science laboratories are equipped with appropriate personal protective equipment for students and teachers. Directs LEAs to ensure 1) all of its high schools and middle schools are in compliance with SBE policies related to science laboratory safety.  Amends Statute G.S. 115C-296(B) to direct SBE in consultation with LEAs and the Board of Governors of the University of North Carolina to evaluate and modify as necessary the academic requirements for students preparing to teach science in middle and high school to ensure that they receive adequate preparation regarding science laboratory safety. Amends G.S. 115C-521 prohibits LEAs from getting a certificate of occupancy until the plans for the science laboratory areas of the proposed buildings have been reviewed and approved by the SBE to meet accepted safety standards for school science laboratories and related preparation rooms and stockrooms. The review and approval may also be completed by an entity licensed or authorized by the SBE. Effective June 1, 2009.

HB 43 School Board Members/Failure to Discharge Duty (R. Glazier) Making it unlawful for a school board member to willfully fail to discharge the duties of the office. The bill adds school board members to existing law that other elected official are required to fulfill in G.S. 14-230 with respect to willfully neglecting or refusing to discharge any of the duties of the office. Effective December 1, 2009.

HB 65 Students Under 16 May Attend Community College (J. Tolson) To reenact the statute authorizing intellectually gifted students under the age of sixteen to attend community colleges. Effective March 1, 2009. The law had expired on September 1, 2008.

HB 79 Extend School Formula Study Committee (R. Glazier) Directing the Joint Legislative Study Committee on public school funding formulas to extend its review of public school funding formulas. Effective July 7, 2009.

HB 81 Notice of Special/Emergency Meetings (G. Cleveland) To amend the Notice of Special and Emergency Meetings under the Open Meetings Act. Adds language to allow public entities to e-mail notice for regular meetings to each newspaper, wire service radio station or television station that has filed written request for notice and any other public person who has filed written request for notice. It requires notice be posted on the principal bulletin board or at the door of the meeting room on the building accessible to the public for 48 hours before the time of the meeting. Emergency meetings notice shall be given by e-mail or telephone or by same methods as used to notify public. If the public entity has a website and posts regular meetings the public body shall post the schedule of regular meetings on the website. Defines emergency meeting as one called because of generally unexpected circumstance that require immediate consideration by the public body. Effective October 1, 2009.

HB 88 Healthy Youth Act (B. England) To provide reproductive health and safety education in grades seven through nine. Removes abstinence until marriage language in the law and allows instruction that was presently in the law. Requires materials to be age appropriate and shall be based on scientific research that is peer reviewed by professionals and other experts in sexual health education. Next it says every LEA shall include new instruction in the areas of 1) sexually transmitted diseases, 2) effectiveness of contraception methods, 3) awareness of sexual assault, abuse, and risk reduction. Each local board shall adopt a policy and provide a mechanism to allow a parent or a guardian to withdraw his or her child from instruction required in this new section of the law G.S.115C-81(e1). Removes abstinence until marriage language and replaces with reproductive health and safety education curriculum. Each local board is required to provide a comprehensive school health education program and may expand on the subject areas to be included in the program and on the instructional objectives to be met.  Deletes the requirement for a Local Board to hold public hearings, prior to implementing the comprehensive sexual education program. Makes changes to G.S. 115C-81(e1)(5) and 115C-81(e1)(7).  Effective June 30, 2009 and applies to the 2010-2011 school year.

HB 94 Clarify Definition of Retirement (B. Owens) Amends the definition of retirement to clarify that service as an unpaid volunteer in a local school administrative unit is not considered service for the purpose of that definition. Effective March 24, 2009.

HB 96 Local Government Surplus Property Donations (B. Faison) An Act to authorize cities, counties and local boards of education to donate surplus, obsolete or unused personal property to charter schools and make other technical changes to the authority. Effective June 19, 2009.

HB 187 Encourage Policies to Facilitate Graduation (E. Parmon) To encourage Local Boards of Education to adopt policies to encourage local businesses including local Chambers of Commerce, to adopt personnel policies with time to permit parents to attend student conferences. Local boards are encouraged to adopt policies to implement programs that assist students in making a successful transition between the middle school and high school years, increase parental involvement in student achievement, reduce suspension and expulsion rates and encourage academic progress during suspensions, and provide assistance. Finally, as part of the local board policy on pregnant or parenting students they are to provide assistance and support to encourage pregnant and parenting students to remain in school and graduate. The law is changed in sections G.S 115C-47(34), 115C-47 and 115C-375.5(b). Effective July 24, 2009.

HB 191 General Statutes Clarifying Correction (D. Ross) See Technical Bills document.

HB 209 Sex Offender Registry/Liberties with Student (B. Goforth) To add the offense of taking indecent liberties with a student to the list of sex offenses that requires registration under the Sex Offender and Public Protection Registration Program as recommended by the House Select Committee on Sex Offender Issues. Effective December 1, 2009.

HB 218 Parent & Student Educational Involvement Act (R. Glazier) Requires written notice be provided to the student’s parent by the end of the workday during which the suspension (for more than 10 days) or expulsion is recommended, when reasonably possible, but in any case no later than the end of the following workday. Amends G.S. 115C-391 and sets into law the information to be provided in the written notice: 1) description of the incident 2) rule in policy alleged to have been violated 3) process for parent to request a hearing 4) process by which a hearing will be held 5) parent permitted to retain an attorney during the hearing 5) extent to which board policy allows parent to have an advocate assist in the presentation of an appeal instead of an attorney 6) parents right to review education records prior to hearing. Written notice may be provided by certified mail, telefax, mail, e-mail or any other written method to give notice for expulsion or suspension for more than ten days.  Effective beginning with the 2009-2010 school year.

HB 223 No High School Graduation Project Required (J. Love) Removing the High School Graduation Project as a requirement for Graduation. Directs the State Board of Education not to include a high school graduation project as a requirement for receiving a high school diploma prior to July 1, 2011; however Local Boards of Education may choose to require their students to complete a high school graduation project. Directs the Program Evaluation Division to study the cost and effectiveness of requiring a statewide high school graduation project and to report the study results to the Joint Legislative Education Oversight Committee by July 1, 2010. Effective June 5, 2009.

HB 274 Clarifying Changes in State Law (D. Ross) See Technical Bills document

HB 311 Continue School Construction Funding (D. Yongue) The use of additional tax revenue by counties. Forty percent received from one-half cent Sales and Use Tax levied in this article and 30 percent of the revenue received by a county after the first five years may be used by the county only for school capital outlay. The county must use 60 percent of the revenue specified in this subsection for public school capital outlay purposes or to retire indebtedness. Essentially it extends these dedicated funds to public schools for school construction if needed.  These provisions for school construction resources would have no sunset date. Effective January 1, 2010.

HB 316 Assignment of Multiples to Charter Schools (M. Jeffus) Authorizing charter schools to give priority for admission to multiple birth siblings of any student assigned to a charter school. Effective with the 2009-2010 school year.

HB 365 Joint Session for State Board of Education Confirmations (L. Bell) Providing for a Joint Session of the General Assembly to act on a Joint Resolution providing for confirmation of the appointments by the Governor of one new member and two sitting members (whose 8 year term had expired) to the State Board of Education.

HB 391 Community College May Offer Safety Driving Courses (L. Daughtry) Permits high school students to take noncredit safe driving courses during the academic year or summer at a Community College. Effective June 11, 2009.

HB 440 Nicolas Adkins School Bus Safety Act (D. Folwell) To provide for the use of automated camera or video recording systems to detect and prosecute (admissible as evidence) individuals who pass stopped school buses, as recommended by the Child Fatality Task Force. G.S. 20-217(g) is amended to read; anyone who willfully violates this law and strikes any person, resulting in the death of that person, shall be guilty of a Class H felony. Effective for offenses committed after December 1, 2009.

HB 482 Reinstatement of Sick Leave/School Employees (T. Cotham) Relating to the reinstatement of unused sick leave for public employees. Maximum period of separation after which unused sick leave is reinstated shall be three calendar months longer for school personnel on 10-month contracts than for school personnel on a 12-month contract.  Effective July 1, 2009.

HB 535 Health Insurance Coverage/Lymphedema (T. Cotham) To require health insurers, including the State Health Plan, to provide coverage for the diagnosis and treatment of lymphedema. Effective January 1, 2010.

HB 582 Special Education Changes (R. Glazier) Providing for compliance with Federal Law requiring the provision of educational services to students transferring into a North Carolina School District while under a term of suspension or expulsion. It adds language to require a special education student who is denied admission to have education services provided to the same extent as if the child were enrolled in the LEA at the time of suspension or expulsion. Basically, if a child from another school system was suspended or expelled and enrolls, the school system must either admit or provide educational services if the student is eligible for admission to the LEA. Effective July 24, 2009.

HB 642 Retirement Technical Corrections (R. Tucker) To make technical corrections and other changes to the Statutes governing the Teachers’ and State Employees’ Retirement System, the Judicial Retirement System and the Legislative Retirement System, and the Local Governmental Employees’ Retirement System, and the Firemen’s and Rescue Squad Workers’ Pension Fund. Some of the key changes include: 1) allows rollover of fund 3) corrects omissions in filing timeframe of an application for retirement (90-120 days) 4) form numbers used instead of names 5) adds language to provide guidance for benefit payments if a member dies after effective date of retirement 7) changes omitted salary calculations apply to beneficiaries as well as members. 8 ) amends return-to-work statutes to require employers to report on rehired retirees 9) provides 100 percent joint and survivor payment 11) adds phrase “electronic submission in a form approved by the Board of Trustees” 12) allows electronic submission in form of written application to allow members to file for retirement on-line 13) amends Disability Income Plan to begin the reduction for social security benefits on the first of the month following the month the member becomes entitled to benefits. Effective July 1, 2009.

HB 659 Study Existing Children/Youth Programs (A. Bordsen) Authorizing the Joint Legislative Program Evaluation Committee to direct the Program Evaluation Division to study existing programs relating to children and youth in North Carolina, as recommended by the Joint Legislative Study Commission on Children and Youth. Effective June 19, 2009.

HB 661 City Managers on School Boards (R. Warren) To allow City Managers in certain smaller municipalities to serve as members of Boards of Education. The population of the city shall not exceed 3,000. Effective July 17, 2009

HB 735 Building Code/High Schoolers at Community Colleges (C. Tarleton) To clarify the law regarding building code standards for buildings used by high school students attending classes on Community College campuses. Existing and new Community College facilities if they comply with the North Carolina Building Code and other local ordinances may be used by high school students without modification. For purposes of use and occupancy these programs shall be considered “Business-Group B.” Effective June 26, 2009.

HB 804 Amend Law RE: Personal Education Plans (T. Cotham) To amend the law regarding Personal Education Plans (PEP) for every student at risk of academic failure the law is amended to state no later than the end of the first quarter, or after a teacher has had up to nine weeks of instructional time with a student a personal education plan shall be developed or updated for any student at risk of academic failure based on tests and other factors. LEAs shall give notice of the PEP and a copy of the PEP to the student’s parent or guardian. No cause of action for monetary damages shall arise from failure to provide or implement a PEP in this law. Effective with the 2009-2010 school year.

HB 836 Modify Appropriations Act See Technical Bills Summary pages

HB 908 Election Administration Amendments (M. Goodwin) The law is amended to provide voter preregistration of qualified individuals who are sixteen or seventeen years of age. The State Board of Elections shall have a Citizens Awareness Month at which time each County Board of Elections shall conduct voter registration and preregistration drives at public high schools in accordance with Local Board of Education policies, school system administrative procedures and guidelines of the State Board of Elections. Allows the County Board of Elections to make a request to Local Boards of Education at least ninety days prior to the start of one-stop voting. The request shall identify the building and specific portion to being requested for use. If the Local Board does not respond within 20 days of the request the site may be used for 30 days of one-stop voting. If the Local Board does not want to comply with the request for the use of their building they must notify the County Board within 20 days. The County Board of Elections will then work with the entity to try and identify a building or specific portions to conduct one-stop absentee voting. If a building cannot be agreed upon within 45 days, the State Board of Elections shall resolve the matter. G.S. 115C-81(g1)(1)(b) is rewritten to require instruction on voter registration and preregistration. G.S. 115-47 is amended to encourage student voter registration and preregistration. Encourage Local Boards to adopt policies that include the collaboration with County Boards of Election to conduct voter registration and preregistration in high schools. Completion and submission of voter registration or preregistration shall not be a course requirement or graded assignment for students.  This section is effective January 1, 2010 and applies to 2010-2011 school year.

HB 945 The Studies Act of 2009 See Technical Bill Summary pages.

HB 1031 Building Standards/Pre-K Classes in Public Schools (D. Folwell) To allow public schools seeking voluntary childcare facility licensure for prekindergarten to use the same building standards for prekindergarten classrooms as for kindergarten classrooms. The classroom shall have the following; 1) one toilet and one hand sink 2) kindergarten standards for light fixtures 3) kindergarten standards for floors, walls ceilings and 4) has floors walls and ceilings free from mold, mildew and lead hazards. A public school that voluntarily applies for a childcare license shall meet all other requirements for childcare facility licensure. Effective June 19, 2009.

HB 1032 Modify History and Geography Curricula (M. Jeffus) The law modifies the language in G.S. 115C-81(b1) to allow one year-long course of instruction in middle school on NC History and Geography in elementary schools and one year-long course of instruction at the high schools, in NC History with US History integrated into the instruction. Each course may include up to two weeks (reduced from four weeks) of instruction on the local area in which the students reside. Effective 2010-2011 school year.

HB 1078 Report School Violence to Superintendent/Require Notification Policy (L. Wiley) To ensure that acts of violence in schools are reported to the local Superintendent or the Superintendent’s designee. The principal or principal’s designee shall notify the Superintendent in writing or by electronic mail regarding any report made to law enforcement. Notification shall be made no later than the end of the following workday. The Superintendent shall provide the information to the Local Board.  G.S. 115C-36 is amended to allow Local Boards to notify parents or legal guardians of students alleged to be victims of acts required to be reported to law enforcement and Superintendents. Local Boards shall adopt a policy on notification of parents or legal guardians of any student’s alleged victims. Effective 2010-2011 school year.

HB 1090 UI/Severance Modifications (W. Wainwright) Amends the definition of total and partial unemployment relating to the treatment of severance pay under the Employment Security Laws of North Carolina.  Effective October 1, 2009.

HB 1117 Sex Offender Can’t Drive Bus with Children (R. Tucker) An act to provide that the Division of Motor Vehicles shall not issue or renew commercial drivers’ license with endorsement to drive a commercial passenger vehicle or school bus for anyone required to register under the sex offenders and public protection registration programs. Effective December 1, 2009.

HB 1172 School Based Administrators Salary Schedule (M. Michaux) The salary schedule in the SB 202, the Appropriations bill was wrong and this corrects the error in the principal and assistant principal salary schedule originally enacted into law. Effective July 1, 2009.

HB 1221 Develop State Employee Benefits Statement (D. Folwell) Directing the Department of Public Instruction to study developing an employee benefits statement that reflects the current value of employee benefits provided to state public school employees. An interim report shall be made by December 31, 2009 including the costs required to generate statements on or before June 30, 2010.

HB 1261 Protect Our Kids/Cyber Bullying Misdemeanor (N. Mackey) Protecting children of this State by making cyber bullying a criminal offense punishable as a Class 1 misdemeanor if the defendant is 18 years of age or older at the time the offense is committed. If the defendant is under 18 the offense shall be punishable as a Class 2 misdemeanor. The law provides that it is unlawful for a person to use a computer or computer network to do any of the following 1) intent to intimidate or torment a minor through a series of actions 2) intent to intimidate a minor’s parent or guardian though a series of actions 3) plant a statement true or false to provoke another individual; 4) copy or disseminate any information pertaining to a minor for the purpose of intimidating or tormenting  5) sign up a minor to a pornographic site 6) sign up a minor for electronic mail or messages. Effective December 1, 2009.

HB 1274 State Health Plan Blue Ribbon Task Force (V. Insko) An act to make technical and other changes pertaining to the State Health Plan Blue Ribbon Task Force and to the State Health Plan for teachers and state employees. Section 3 of the law allows members to pay the lesser of co-payments provided under this subsection or a pharmacy’s cash price to the general public of a particular prescription. The Plan’s pharmacy benefit manager may remove from the pharmacy network any pharmacy that charges an amount in violation of this subdivision. Effective October 1, 2009.

HB 1294 NC Risk Pool Clarifications (J. Dockham) To authorize the North Carolina Health Insurance Risk Pool to provide premium subsidies if funds are available. Section 2 effective October 1, 2009.

HB 1327 Schools Notified of Criminal Intelligence Information (D. Folwell) Allows a law enforcement agency to disseminate an assessment of criminal intelligence information to the principal of a school when necessary to avoid imminent danger to the life of a student or employee of the school or to the public school property. Notification may be made in person or by telephone and pertains to public or private schools. Effective December 1, 2009.

HB 1329 Consolidate Expunction Statutes (A. Bryant) Consolidate all statutes related to expunction of records in one Article of the General Statutes. Amends Chapter 15A with respect to expunction of records for first offenders under the age of 18 at the time of conviction of certain gang offenses, first offenders under the age of 21 at the time of offense of certain drug offenses, and first offenders under the age of 21 at the time of offense of certain toxic vapors offenses. Effective December 1, 2009 and applies to petitions filed on or after that date.

HB 1433 Clarify Volunteer Immunity/AED (B. England) Immunity is conferred to any person who uses an automated external defibrillator (AED) and otherwise meets the requirements of this section (G.S. 90-21.14(a)). Effective August 5, 2009.

HB 1446 Amend Law RE: School Improvement Plans (R. Glazier) Amends the law relating to school improvement plans. Amends Statute by requiring the school improvement plans to take into consideration the goals set out in the mission statement for the public schools adopted by the SBE. Requires all school improvement plans be data-driven to the greatest extent possible analyzing student data to identify root causes for problems and to determine actions to address them, and containing clear, explicit indicators and actual measures as well as speedy time frames for improvement. Amends time school improvement plans remain in effect from three years to two years.  Changes the law to require low-performing schools to have their school improvement plan reviewed and approved by the State Board of Education. Effective 2009-2010 school year.

HB 1452 Local Government Code of Ethics (L. Allen) Requires all Cities, Counties, Local Boards of Education, Unified Governments, Sanitary Districts, and Consolidated City-Counties to adopt a Code of Ethics for the Governing Board. All members of these governing boards shall receive a minimum of two clock hours of ethic education within 12 months after initial election or appointment to the office and again within 12 months after each subsequent election or appointment to office. Local Boards of Education shall adopt a resolution or policy containing a code of ethics as required by G.S.160A-83 (this section of the law specifies items to be covered in the resolution/policy). All members of Local Boards of Education, whether elected or appointed shall receive a minimum of 12 clock hours of training annually. The 12 clock hours of training may include the ethics education required by G.S. 160A-84 (this section of the law addresses ethics education required). Effective January 1, 2010.

HB 1471 Counties & Schools Share P.E. Equipment (D. Yongue) Directing the SBE to encourage Local Boards of Education to enter into agreements with local governments and other entities regarding the joint use of their facilities for physical activity. The agreements should determine opportunities, guidelines and the roles and responsibilities of the parties including maintenance and liability. Effective July 24, 2009.

HB 1474 Credit Education Required/High School Seniors (A. Williams) Each student shall receive personal financial literacy instruction to include: 1) true cost of credit 2) borrowing money for an automobile or other large purchase 3) home mortgages 4) credit scoring and credit reports and 50 other relevant financial literacy issues. The SBE shall determine which courses and grade levels shall be integrated with financial literacy instruction. Effective with 2011-2012 school year.

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