Bill Summary for H 594 (2019-2020)

Summary date: 

Jun 9 2020

Bill Information:

View NCGA Bill Details2019-2020 Session
House Bill 594 (Public) Filed Wednesday, April 3, 2019
AN ACT TO AUTHORIZE INDOOR OR OUTDOOR EXERCISE AND FITNESS FACILITIES, GYMS, HEALTH CLUBS, AND FITNESS CENTERS TO RESUME OPERATIONS WHILE ALSO SAFEGUARDING THE PUBLIC HEALTH TO PREVENT THE SPREAD OF THE CORONAVIRUS DISEASE 2019 (COVID-19) AND TO ALLOW CERTAIN EXISTING ESTABLISHMENTS TO OFFER AND OPERATE OUTDOOR DINING AND BEVERAGE SERVICE OPTIONS.
Intro. by K. Hall, Howard, D. Hall, Richardson.

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Bill summary

Senate amendment #1 makes the following changes to the 3rd edition.

Authorizes any establishment that prepares or serves food or drink to open and operate its food and drink service for on-premises consumption so long as 11 requirements and limitations are met. Among the requirements and limitations are (1) that the establishment was in existence on March 10, 2020, is properly licensed and permitted, and holds all necessary State and local regulatory permits; (2) the establishment is not a private club, private bar, winery with a fortified or unfortified wine permit, or a distillery with a distillery permit; (3) the operation for on-premises consumption is limited to any authorized indoor seating or an owner-approved outdoor seating location; and (4) the service is limited to the lesser of 50% of the current indoor seating capacity of the establishment, or 100 consumers.

Authorizes any private club or private bar, any winery issued a fortified or unfortified wine permit, or any distillery issued a distillery permit, to open and serve alcohol for on-premises consumption so long as 10 requirements and limitations are met. Among the restrictions are (1) a requirement that the establishment have been in existence on March 10, 2020, is properly licensed and permitted, and holds all necessary State and local regulatory permits; (2) the service is limited to outdoor seating locations with the location owner(s)' permission; and (3) the outdoor seating capacity is limited to the lesser of 50% of the current indoor seating capacity of the establishment, or 100 customers. 

Bars municipalities and counties from prohibiting the above authorized outdoor seating areas due to not being a permitted use for operation of food and drink services under zoning ordinances.

Sunsets the above added authorizations upon the later of 30 days after any emergency prohibitions and restrictions applicable expire or are otherwise terminated to permit the establishment to open for full unrestricted service of food and drink, or October 31, 2020.

Makes organizational and conforming clarifying changes to the previous content of the bill concerning indoor and outdoor fitness and exercise facilities, gyms, health clubs, and fitness centers.

Notwithstanding the authorizations provided in the act, provides that the Governor can exercise emergency powers granted in GS 166A-19.30(b) and (c) related to establishments covered by the act, subject to concurrence of the majority of the Council of State, as received and released by the Governor pursuant to the procedure provided. Note, GS 166A-19.30(b) and (c) both grant the Governor certain powers during a gubernatorially or legislatively declared state of emergency; however, only the powers granted in subsection (b) are subject to Council of State concurrence, while the powers granted in subsection (c), which includes the power to impose restrictions and prohibitions in the emergency area by declaration if local control of the emergency is insufficient to assure adequate protection for lives and property, are not explicitly subject to Council of State concurrence.

Additionally, authorizes the Secretary of Health and Human Services and the Secretary of Environmental Quality to exercise the power granted in GS 130A-20 to order an abatement of an imminent hazard related to COVID-19 that requires closure of establishments covered by the act only upon notification to the Governor and with concurrence of a majority of the Council of State, as received and released by the appropriate Secretary pursuant to the procedure provided. Note, the statutory powers set forth in GS 130A-20 apply to the Secretary of Health and Human Services and local health directors, and are not explicitly subject to notification of the Governor and/or majority concurrence of the Council of State.

Changes the act's long title.

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