Bill Summaries: S312 CLARIFY EMERGENCY POWERS.

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  • Summary date: Mar 16 2021 - More information

    Amends GS 166A-19.20 to provide for the expiration of a gubernatorially or legislatively declared state of emergency applicable to a statewide emergency area seven calendar days after issuance without concurrence of the Council of State. Allows for 30-day extensions with concurrence of the Council of State. 

    Amends GS 166A-19.3 to define concurrence of the Council of State to mean the consensus, within seven calendar days of contact, of a majority of the Council of State prior to the Governor exercising a power of authority requiring a concurrence of the Council of State. Requires the Governor to document and release each contact and response, and deems the documentation a public record. Requires release of information prior to or simultaneously with exercising the stated authority. Also defines statewide emergency area to mean any emergency area applicable to two-thirds or more of the counties in the state. Defines Council of State.

    Amends GS 166A-19.30, which states additional powers of the Governor in the event of insufficient local control of a gubernatorially or legislatively declared state of emergency to assure adequate protection for lives and property. Adds the following requirements and limitations with respect to the exercise of those additional powers, including (1) immediate notification of the affected local authorities and (2) limiting the duration of the exercise of power to seven calendar days without concurrence of the Council of State, with extensions of up to 30 days with concurrence of the Council of State. Requires the Governor to disclose and release to the Council of State, upon exercise of the powers granted, any and all communications with local authorities that formed the basis of the Governor's determination that local control of the emergency is insufficient to assure adequate protection for lives and property, including but not limited to emails, letters, and notes of oral conversations. 

    Amends GS 130A-20, which provides authority for the Secretary of Health and Human Services (Secretary), Secretary of Environmental Quality, and local health directors to order abatement of an imminent hazard; enter upon property and take abatement action upon noncompliance after notice; and take a lien on the property for cost of abatement. Separates the authority of the Secretaries from the local health directors. Clarifies that the authority of local health directors applies to specific properties.

    Adds new subsection (c) to grant the Secretary the authority to determine that a class or category of property uses presents an imminent hazard and to order persons in control of that type of class or category of property uses to abate the imminent hazard upon notification to the Governor and the Governor's concurrence of the Council of State. Explicitly prohibits any action to close a category or class of properties without a concurrence of the Council of State. Allows the Secretary to enter the property and take necessary abatement actions for noncompliance with the order after notice or a reasonable attempt to notify the persons in control of a specific property. Deems the Secretary of Environmental Quality to share with the Secretary the rights set out in new subsection (c) to enforce the waste management and drinking water regulations of Articles 9 and 10. Aligns the defined terms concurrence of Council of State, and statewide, with the new terms set out in GS 166A-19.3, as amended. 

    Deems any power exercised under a state of emergency or declaration of emergency existing on the date the act becomes law that would require a concurrence of the Council of State pursuant to the act to expire two days after the act becomes law, unless a concurrence of the Council of State is sought and received in accordance with the act. 


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