Bill Summary for H 264 (2021-2022)

Summary date: 

Mar 10 2021

Bill Information:

View NCGA Bill Details2021
House Bill 264 (Public) Filed Wednesday, March 10, 2021
AN ACT TO CLARIFY THE EXPIRATION OF A STATEWIDE STATE OF EMERGENCY AND THE EXERCISE OF CERTAIN POWERS UNDER A STATEWIDE STATE OF EMERGENCY, TO CLARIFY THE ABATEMENT OF STATEWIDE IMMINENT HAZARDS, AND TO CLARIFY STATEWIDE QUARANTINES.
Intro. by Kidwell, D. Hall, Bell, Moffitt.

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Bill summary

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 days after issuance without concurrence of the Council of State. Allows for a 30-day extension with concurrence of the Council of State. Prohibits the Governor from issuing or extending a declaration applicable to a statewide emergency area the same or substantially similar to that which failed concurrence of the Council of State based on the same emergency.

Amends GS 166A-19.3 to define concurrence of the Council of State to mean the consensus, within 48 hours 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. Deems failure to respond a concurrence. 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, (2) concurrence of the Council of State, and (3) expiration of the exercise in the same manner as statewide declarations of emergency under GS 166A-19.20, as amended.

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 a statewide imminent hazard and to order persons in control of that type of class or category of property uses to abate the statewide 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 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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