AN ACT GUARANTEEING THE CONSTITUTIONAL RIGHT OF NORTH CAROLINIANS TO ENJOYMENT OF THE FRUITS OF THEIR OWN LABOR AND THE PURSUIT OF HAPPINESS BY LIMITING CERTAIN PENALTIES FOR VIOLATIONS OF EXECUTIVE ORDERS AND LOCAL PROHIBITIONS AND ACTIONS BY OCCUPATIONAL LICENSING BOARDS.
Establishes criminal immunity for any violation of the following five executive orders, issued between March 17, 2020, and April 23, 2020, and any subsequent extensions or amendments thereto: No. 118; No. 120; No. 121; No. 131; and No. 135. Additionally, establishes criminal immunity for any violation of any executive order issued after April 23, 2020, in response to the COVID-19 emergency pursuant to specified statutory authority regarding state of emergencies. Provides that all prosecutions for violation of the described executive orders are abated.
Further, establishes criminal immunity for any violation of local prohibitions and restrictions that mirror or exceed the limitations contained in the above described executive orders in response to the COVID-19 emergency, and provides that all prosecutions for violations of such prohibitions or restrictions are abated. Caps civil penalties for any violation of these local prohibitions or restrictions at $25 for the first violation and $1 per day for each subsequent violation. Provides for citizen refunds of fines already collected less $25 for the first violation and $1 per day for each subsequent violation, and any amount deposited pursuant to the constitutional requirement concerning county school funds. Provides that no court costs will be assessed for violations of this act.
Bars disciplinary action by occupational licensing boards against any licensee who violates any of the described executive orders or local prohibitions or restrictions.
The above provisions apply retroactively to March 17, 2020.
Appropriates $5,000 in nonrecurring funds from the General Fund to the Secretary of State for the 2019-20 fiscal year to provide the public with educational materials relating to the act. Requires consultation with State occupational licensing boards in the development and dissemination of the materials.
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