North Carolina NOW Legislative Update #4
22 February 2021
This week’s summary talks about Governor Cooper’s response to the NC legislature forcing in person learning via legislation and on how late census data will effect federal and state redistricting and 2021 elections. There are no new bills to track and no action on the bills being tracked. See whole report at North Carolina NOW Legislative Update #4.22 February 2021.
This week the legislature passed a bill (SB37, In-Person Learning Choice for Families) that would require school districts to offer the option of in-person learning. However, the Governor is not satisfied with the bill and wants to have more discussions with legislators before he decides how to act.
In particular, the Governor believes any bill should require schools to comply with N.C. Department of Health and Human Services guidelines for in-person learning, which include social distancing for middle and high schools. The bill does include a mask requirement for all schools. He also wants local school districts to have flexibility to respond to emergencies without being “hampered” by legislation. Governor Cooper noted, “The bill just passed fails on both these fronts. It is critical for students and teachers that we get this right.”
This Republican-sponsored bill has enough support from Democrats to override a veto by the governor. If the governor does not sign the bill in 10 days, it will become law without his signature.
Census data needed to reapportion federal and state legislative districts will be delayed until September 30, which means that it is unlikely that redistricting will be done this session. It also means that municipalities that need to redraw districts may not be able to hold their 2021 elections on schedule. See: https://www.npr.org/2021/02/12/965823150/6-month-delay-in-census-redistricting-data-could-throw-elections-into-chaos
No new bills to track and no action on the bills being tracked.
See whole report at North Carolina NOW Legislative Update #4.22 February 2021.