Ratified Senate Legislative Bills Summary 2009 Session

SB 65 Amend Computer Solicitation of Child (J. Tillman) Amends the law regarding solicitation of a child by computer to commit an unlawful sex act to include solicitations by any other devices capable of electronic data storage or transfer. Law already provides that a violation is Class H felony and if either the defendant or any other person for whom the defendant was arranging the meeting actually appears at the meeting location, the violation is a Class G felony. Effective December 1, 2009.

SB 198 State Board of Education/Membership Restrictions (V. Malone) Modifies the restrictions on service on the State Board of Education. Provides that no more than two (was one) public school employees paid from state or local funds may serve as appointed members of the State Board of Education. Senate Committee Substitute inserts language previously deleted in error prohibiting a spouse of a DPI employee serving on the board. In addition, the committee substitute amends statute, which prohibits certain contracts between public officers and the agencies they serve, to provide that it does not apply to employment contracts between the State Board of Education and its chief executive officer. Effective March 4, 2009.

SB 202 Appropriations Act of 2009 (L. Garrou) Makes base budget appropriations for the current operations of state departments, institutions, and agencies, and for other purposes. Effective July 1, 2009.

SB 204 Retired Nurses Return to Work (W. Purcell) Enables retirees of the Teachers’ and State Employees Retirement System to return to employment as nursing instructors at a             State-supported Community College or State-supported university without losing retirement benefits.  Effective July 1, 2009 and expires June 30, 2013.

SB 220 General Statutes Commission Technical Corrections (F. Hartsell) An act to make technical corrections in the General Statutes as requested by the General Statutes Commission and to make various other technical changes to the General Statutes and Session Laws. Amends G.S. 115C-102 and recodifes G. S. 115C-407.5 through G. S. 115C-407.8 as enacted by SL 2009-212 as G.S.115C-407.9 through G. S. 115C-407.12.

SB 248 Conform County School Board Vacancy Statute (J. Foriest) Makes a technical correction to the 1981 law by deleting counties that were included as it relates to filling vacancies in County Boards of Education elected on a partisan basis. The law now only applies to Alleghany, Brunswick, Graham, New Hanover, Vance and Washington. Effective December 1, 2010.

SB 287 State Health Plan $/Good Health Initiatives (T. Rand) An act to appropriate funds for the State Health Plan for Teachers and State Employees and to make other changes related to the State Health Plan. Funds in the amount of $250,000,00 is appropriated to cover the 2008-09 shortfall, the 90/10 PPO option has been eliminated, co-pays were increased to $35.00 on prescription without generic equivalents, increase in premiums, routine eye examination eliminated and an increase in employee/employer contributions for 2009-2010 and 2010 –2011 were some of the changes to the State Health Plan. Sections 1(b), 1(c), 1(d), 2(c), 2(f), 2(h) of this act become effective July 1, 2009. Section 4(d) of this act applies to applications for the purchase of extended coverage made on and after July 1, 2008. The remainder of this act is effective April 23, 2009.

SB 368 Various Changes in Motor Vehicle Law (C. Jenkins) An act to make various changes to the Motor Vehicles Laws, as requested by the Department of Crime Control and Public Safety. Section 14 applies to G.S. 115C-457.2 regarding the proceeds to be remitted to the Civil Fines and Forfeiture Fund from the changes to the law. Section 13 prohibits viewing of televisions, computer or video player which is located in the motor vehicle at any point forward of the back of the drivers’ seat such that it is visible by the driver while operating the motor vehicle. Section 13 is effective October 1, 2009. Section 13 does not apply to navigation systems or equipment displaying audio, controls weather, traffic or safety information. Section 14 pertaining to fines and forfeitures disbursement is effective July 31, 2009.

SB 425 Streamline Plan Review & Inspection/State Buildings (E. Kinnaird) The law streamlines the plan review and inspection process of state buildings by transferring the authority for building code enforcement with respect to State buildings from the Dept. of Insurance to the Dept. of Administration. G.S.58-31-40 has sections deleted, but still requires school districts erecting a building comprising 20,000 square feet to receive approval of the plan by the Commissioner of Insurance as to the safety of the proposed building from fire, including the property’s occupants or contents. Effective October 1, 2009.

SB 526 School Violence Prevention Act (J. Boseman) Defines bullying and harassing behavior as used in the Act as any pattern or gestures or written, electronic, or verbal communication, or any physical act or any threatening communication that takes place on school property, at any school-sponsored function, or on a school bus and that places a student or school employee in actual and reasonable fear of harm to his or her person or damage to his or her property. Directs LEAs to adopt policy prohibiting bullying or harassing behavior before December 31, 2009 and to provide training on local policy to school employees and volunteers who have significant contact with students by March 1, 2010. The law clearly specifies 8 components to be included in the policy. In addition notice of local policy shall appear in any school unit publication that sets forth the comprehensive rules, procedures, and standards of conduct for schools within the school unit and in any student and school employee handbook. Effective with 2009-2010 school year.

SB 631 DMV Bureau of License & Theft/Vehicles (R. Stevens) An act concerning the disposition and use of seized vehicles by the Division of Motor Vehicles, Bureau of License and Theft.  Proceeds from the sale of such vehicles shall be paid to the treasurer and placed in the Civil Fines and Forfeitures Funds pursuant to G. S. 115C-457.1.  Effective August 2009.

SB 689 Modify DPI Reporting Requirements/Building Code/High Schools (R. Stevens) The law changes the reporting dates for SBE, for the three reports listed. The SBE shall report to Joint Legislative Education Oversight Committee prior to January 15 of each year on the impact of the mentoring program on teacher retention and how mentors are trained. SBE shall report on January 15 each year on the success of students in programs (i.e. high school dropout rates, post graduation employment etc.) SBE shall report acts of violence in public schools and the dropout rates, suspensions expulsions and alternative placements to JLEOC by March 15 each year. In addition, the legislation clarifies the law regarding building code standards for buildings used by high school students attending classes on college or university campuses. Existing facilities and new facilities that comply with State Building Code and applicable local ordinances may be used without modification for public school students. Effective July 17, 2009.

SB 708 Amend the Compulsory School Attendance Law (F. Hartsell) Amends the compulsory school attendance law with technical changes to the sentence construction and words. Amends Statute by deleting various general words and adds specific individuals. For example “other person” is replaced with “custodian” “his designee” with “principal’s designee.” G.S. 115C-378 (a) through (g) has language modifications for clarifying purposes. Effective with the 2009-2010 school year.

SB 738 Diabetes Control Plans in Charter Schools (T. Rand) Requires Boards of Directors of Charter Schools to implement the guidelines adopted by the State Board of Education for the development and implementation of individual diabetes care plans and to require Local Boards of Education and Boards of Directors of Charter Schools to report annually, on or before August 15, whether they have students enrolled and provide information showing compliance with the guidelines adopted by the State Board of Education. The reports shall be in compliance with the federal Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act. Effective when it becomes law and applies to the 2009-2010 school year.

SB 754 Changes for Bonds Authorization Under ARRTA (D. Clodfelter) Amends the North Carolina General Statutes to allow the State to take full advantage of the expansion of existing bond programs and the creation of new bond programs (qualified school construction bonds) under the Federal Economic Stimulus Legislation also known as the American Recovery and Reinvestment Tax Act of 2009. Effective June 19, 2009.

SB 838 Amend Env. Laws/Env. Technical Corrections 2009 (C. Albertson) Amends or repeals various environmental reporting requirements. G. S. 130A-248(d) to provide that all food and lodging establishments except nutrition programs for elderly, establishments that prepare and sell meat and poultry products, and school cafeterias, must pay $75.00 for each permit, and that fee is reassessed annually for permits that do not expire. Section V of the bill delays the effective dates of laws governing the management of discarded computer equipment and discarded televisions until multiple dates in 2010 (see bill). Sections 12, 13, 14, and 15 regarding the consolidation of reports becomes effective January 2010 and the remainder is effective when it becomes law.

SB 859 Tort Claims Act/Local Government Opt-In (D. Clodfelter) An act to allow cities with population greater than 500,000 or more is authorized to waive its immunity from civil liability in rot by passage of a resolution expressing its intent to waive sovereign immunity. Any resolution shall apply to all claims arising on or after passage of the resolution until repealed. Effective October 1, 2009.

SB 877 Health Plan Provider Contracts/Transparency (D. Clodfelter) Requires contracts between health benefit plans and health care providers to contain certain terms and conditions.  Effective January 1, 2010.

SB 894 UI/School Teacher Related Amendments (F. Hartsell) Amends the employment security laws relating to the definition of substitute teacher and other school-related positions in determining eligibility for unemployment insurance benefits. This pertains to service in a public, charter, or private school. Service performed by a full time substitute when employed to work at least 30 hours for a minimum of six consecutive weeks is eligible for unemployment insurance. Performance of extra duties such as coaching athletics does not qualify an individual for unemployment insurance. Adds the following language; “No showing of misconduct connected with work or substantial fault connected with the work not rising to the level of misconduct shall be required in order for an individual to be disqualified for benefits under this subdivision”. Effective October 1, 2009.

SB 929 No Set Aside of Bond Forfeit/Actual Notice (D. Berger) An act to amend requirements applicable to motions to set aside bail bond forfeitures and clarify sanctions that may be imposed in conjunction with such motions, and to provide that a court may not set aside a bail bond forfeiture, if before executing the bond, the surety or bail agent had actual notice of a defendant’s failure to appear on two or more prior occasions in the case for which the bond was executed. Section 1 becomes effective January 1, 2010, and applies to all motions to set aside filed on or after that date. Section 1.1 and 2 become effective January 1, 2010 and apply to bail bonds executed on or after that date.

SB 931 Commercial Drivers License Changes (S. Goss) Provides reciprocity to a person who holds any commercial drivers license recognized by the federal government, to expand the definition of conviction for out-of-state violations, to expand the definition of employers with regards to commercial drivers licenses, to add a disqualifying violation to commercial drivers licenses, to increase civil penalties, to expand employer reporting responsibilities, and to modify requirements for convictions ten years old or older. Effective March 10, 2010.

SB 957 Special Enrollment Period/Group Health Insurance (M. Nesbitt) Creates a special enrollment period in the North Carolina group Health Insurance Continuation Law and provide eligible individuals with the same continuation rights as under the Federal American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009. Effective June 2009.

SB 960 Ensure Accountability Regarding Stimulus Funds (M. Nesbitt) An act to facilitate expedited use and expenditure of federal funds provided under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act. Amends G. S. 6-19 to prohibit a part from recovering attorneys’ fees in any civil action regarding any claim, dispute, or protest relating to 1) the implementation of ARRA; 2) the award of contracts or grants there under by the state and its departments, institutions, offices, agencies, universities, community colleges, counties, municipalities, and local education authorities; 3) a vendor’s default under ARRA; and/or debarment resulting from a default under an ARRA contract. Effective February 17, 2009.

SB 962 Probationary Teacher Appeals (M. Nesbitt) Modifies the hearing process applicable to probationary teachers. Section 1 G.S. 115C-325(c) Subsection (1) provides the teacher with the right to notice and hearing prior to the board’s vote on career status and the Board shall give written notice of that decision by June 15th or such later date that has been agreed upon by the superintendent and the teacher.  Subsection (2) pertains to the employment of a teacher who has already obtained career status and sets out the same rules as in Subsection (1). Subsection (m) includes 5 new subsections, 3-7. Subsection (m)(3) defines notice by the superintendent of his/her intent to recommend non-renewal by no later than May 15 and addresses the process to receive written notice of the reasons for nonrenewal and a hearing. If the teacher does not file a timely request then the above rights are waived. Subsection (m)(4) if it is a probationary teacher who is eligible for career status and the superintendent recommends the teacher not receive career status then the teacher has a right to a hearing before the Board, unless there is a decrease in positions due to district reorganization, decreased enrollment or decreased funding. Subsection (m)(5) allows teachers with probationary contracts not in their final year to petition the Board for a hearing and the Board may grant a hearing on non-renewal and the Board will notify the teacher of its decision for a hearing.  Subsection (m)(6) states the hearing shall be held according to the provisions of G.S. 115C-45(c). Subsection (m)(7) sets the contract nonrenewal notification date as June 15 unless the teacher submits a request for information or a hearing and the board shall provide the nonrenewal notification by July 1 or such later date upon written consent of the superintendent and the teacher. The election of a teacher to career status (Subsection 1) applies to proceedings initiated after August 31, 2010, while the remainder of the law, impacting probationary teachers and employment of a career teacher, applies to proceedings initiated after August 31, 2009.

SB 1006 Withholding on Contractors Identified by ITIN (D. Hoyle) An act to require withholding on contractors identified by an individual taxpayer identification number (ITIN). Effective for taxable years beginning on or after January 1, 2010.

SB 1019 Establish NC Financial Literacy Council (J. Stein) This act establishes a Financial Literacy Council in the Department of Justice, to coordinate and expand the statewide delivery of financial education for all North Carolinians. The council will work with DPI to monitor and assist in the statewide delivery of financial education in public schools.  The Council will consist of 18 members and will make recommendations to address the current personal financial literacy programs in the public schools and how to integrate financial education in K-12 to ensure that young people are prepared for financial success, address issues facing students in higher education, and create and provide access to financial products that provide hands-on learning of financial skills. The council shall meet quarterly and the law includes their duties. A report is due annually to the General Assembly and the Governor on the impact of the financial education activities conducted by State agencies.  Effective July 10, 2009.

SB 1028 Volunteers to Support Academic Success in School (C. Albertson) Local Boards of Education are directed to develop policies and programs designed to; 1) encourage the use of community-based academic booster organizations, to provide tutoring and other services to encourage and support student academic achievement, 2) develop policies and procedures for approving the use of volunteer organizations and individual volunteers, 3) develop policies/procedures to make information available to parents and students about what tutoring and academic support services are available in the community or through school volunteers or other community organizations. Effective August 7, 2009.

SB 1030 After-School Childcare Programs (R. Stevens) Clarifies the meaning of public school buildings as related to after-school child care programs by including playground and athletic fields as part of the school building. Playgrounds and athletic files that do not meet licensure standards shall include a note on the program licensure rating. The law also establishes procedures for approving education criteria for after-school child care program coordinators and group leaders. Effective June 30, 2009.

SB 1069 Joining Our Businesses and Schools Commission (V. Malone) The act establishes the JOBS Study Commission consisting of 11 members. The Commission shall prioritize and customize the career clusters and identify career paths and report their recommendations to the State Board of Education, and advise the NC Education Cabinet and DPI, study the implementation of pilot programs in the seven economic regions of the state to prepare students for the increased academic demands of a global economy. The Commission shall study issues related to economic growth and define the readiness of a community to deliver the services that equip the workforce to be competitive in a STEM-intensive economy. The Commission will make an initial report to the SBE by March 1, 2010.  The State Board and DPI will develop at least four career clusters and implement at least one JOBS Early or Middle College in each of the economic development regions beginning in 2010-2011 school year. The Commission shall make an interim report of the results of its study and recommendations, including legislation to the Joint Legislative Education Oversight Committee and the 2010 Regular Session of the 2009 General Assembly by May 15, 2010 and to the JLEOC and 2011 Regular Session of the 2011 General Assembly no later than February 1, 2011 and a final report to JLEOC, 2012 Regular Session of the General Assembly by May 15, 2012. The Commission terminates on June 30, 2012.

SJR 1106 Honor Vernon Malone A joint resolution honoring the life and memory of Vernon Malone, State Senator. This Resolution is effective upon ratification.

SJR 1109 Adjournment Resolution A joint resolution setting the time for adjournment of the 2009 General Assembly to meet May 12, 2010 and limiting the subjects that may be considered in that session. Effective August 11, 2009.

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