Friday, March 16, 2007

Other Legislative Highlights 3-16-07

This week I introduced several bills with Rep. Beverly Earle and other members of the House Select Committee on Capital Punishment which would reform the administration of the death penalty.

· House Bill 784 would change the age from 17 to 18 for which a person can be convicted of first-degree murder.

· House Bill 785 would require law enforcement officers to provide more information to district attorneys for discovery.

· House Bill 787 would eliminate capital punishment for conviction of felony murder.

· House Bill 788 would try to eliminate racial bias in death penalty cases.

I also introduced HB 838, which would ban incandescent light bulbs as of January 1, 2016. Energy consumed by these light bulbs in the U.S. is equivalent to the output of 80 coal fired power plants.

HB 837, which I filed for funding for the State Energy Office, will enable the continuation of projects on renewable energy and energy efficiency. These projects have been operating out of NC A&T, ASU, and across the state.

Below are several additional bills that have been introduced in the House or Senate during the last week (the * indicates that I was a co-sponsor of that Bill):

· House Bill 583 would modify the requirements for participation in a community college lateral entry program.

· House Bill 625 would add more personnel who may treat patients under the mental health, developmental disabilities and substance abuse services statutes.

· House Bill 630* would allow leftover tuition assistance program funds to be used to help pay outstanding student loans for members of the North Carolina National Guard.

· House Bill 668 would appropriate funds for a grant program to renovate former school buildings for use by lower income communities.

· House Bill 675* would authorize the Legislative Research Commission to study the definition of child care and the potential need to regulate after-school programs.

· House Bill 693* would give teachers credit for the excess personal leave time that they earn and ensure that teachers can take personal leave with five days' notice.

· House Bill 694 would appropriate funds to create a free online homework help program for all North Carolina students in the fourth through the twelfth grade.

· House Bill 702 would amend the state constitution to increase General Assembly members' terms from two to four years.

· House Bill 718* would appropriate funds to implement an awareness program on youth suicide.

· House Bill 760* would allow the regulation of smoking at University of North Carolina campuses and other facilities.

· House Bill 764* would require that sex offenders register their e-mail address or other online identifiers in the statewide sex offender registry.

· House Bill 773 would protect members of the United States Armed Forces from dishonest and predatory life insurance and annuity sales practices.

· House Bill 853 would ban corporal punishment in all public schools.

· Senate Bill 706 would appropriate $7.1 million over the coming two fiscal years to the Office of Rural Health to help recruit obstetricians and other physicians to practice in underserved parts of the state.

· Senate Bill 709 would encourage public schools, community colleges and the University of North Carolina system to offer American Sign Language as a for-credit modern foreign language class.

· Senate Bill 712 would require insurers to cover extra prescription refills during states of emergency or disasters.

· Senate Bill 812 would require that all public school buses purchased, leased, or contracted for use after July 2008 be equipped with combination lap-shoulder seat belts.

I look forward to the comments and concerns my constituents express each week regarding the work in the North Carolina Legislature. I will continue to be diligent in my efforts to improve the quality of life for those of you in District 57, Guilford County, and across the state.



1 comment:

Craig said...

Why is HB838 necessary? You mention the energy consumed on the national level, but HB838 only affects NC which makes up less than 3% of the US population. Sounds rather absurd to limit the choice of North Carolinians for a perceived benefit so small. And what are the alternatives? Higher priced, poorer performing fluorescents?

If this is in any way connected to the "Man Is Causing Global Warming" hysteria, it is misguided. I have been a meteorologist with the Department of Defense for over thirty years. I have not seen concrete evidence that man is causing Global Warming. In fact, there are clues to increased convection on Jupiter (caused by planetary warming) and the ice caps on Mars have been shrinking for the past three years. Why? Well it ain't SUVs or incandescent bulbs! The sun appears to be getting hotter. Not much we can do about that. And, the largest emissions of CO2 gas comes from our oceans.

I'm in favor of reducing energy dependency on foreign imports(coal plants are not among them). But the goal should be stated as such. GE is already in the process of developing more energy efficient incandescent bulbs. Before we ban them, we should see what they do.

Remember that consensus science agreed that the earth was flat, that the sun revolved around the earth, and that heavier than air flight was impossible.

Don't be a Flat-Earther!