Bill Summary for H 192 (2023-2024)
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AN ACT TO MAKE VARIOUS CHANGES TO THE WILDLIFE LAWS, AS REQUESTED BY THE WILDLIFE RESOURCES COMMISSION.Intro. by Adams, Clampitt.
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Amends GS 143C-8-12 (capital improvement projects from sources other than the General Fund) to allow the Wildlife Resources Commission (WRC) to approve expenditures for its capital project(s) if (1) the project will be funded entirely with agency receipts or federal funds and (2) any operating costs associated with the project will be paid entirely with agency receipts or federal funds. Makes other conforming changes. Effective July 1, 2023.
Current law (GS 75A-3) requires the owners of certain water vessels to obtain a certificate of number from the WRC (which can be for either one year or for three years) and sets forth the fee for each type of license. The WRC is also required to transfer certain amounts of these collected fees to the Navigation Channel Dredging and Aquatic Weed Fund. Amends GS 75A-3 to allow the WRC to retain $100,000 per quarter of the transferred funds for WRC-directed dredging projects, effective July 1, 2023.
Effective June 30, 2023, authorizes the use of funds appropriated by SL 2021-180 (the Appropriations Act) for the removal of high-hazard dams in the mountain region of the State for dams not categorized as high-hazard but otherwise prioritized for removal by the WRC utilizing data-driven criteria that take into account beneficial impacts on restoration of fisheries and wildlife resources; accessibility of the areas to be restored by dam removal to the public for recreational, hunting, and fishing activities; and other relevant criteria. Specifies that the funds will not revert at the end of the 2022-2023 fiscal year but will remain available for expenditure until June 30, 2023.
Enacts new GS 143-254.6 requiring the WRC to do the following with respect to the design, construction, or renovation of property developments at boating access areas, public fishing areas, and game lands of the Commission that require the estimated expenditure of non-General Fund money of $750,000 or less: (1) conduct fee negotiations for all design contracts and supervise the letting of all construction and design projects and (2) develop procedures governing the responsibilities of the WRC to perform the duties of the Department of Administration and the Director or Office of State Construction under GS 133-1.1(d) (setting forth certain instances when a certificate of compliance with the state building code is required) and GS 143-341(3) (governing architecture and engineering). Requires WRC to use contracting standards for State capital improvement projects by the Office of State Construction of the Department of Administration. Specifies that a contract cannot be divided to evade the monetary limit set forth above. Bars the Department of Administration from acting as the awarding authority for any contracts issued under GS 143-254.6. Sets forth annual reporting requirements to the State Building Commission from the WRC on the following: (1) a list of projects under GS 143-254.6, (2) estimated project costs along with actual cost, (3) name of each person or business awarded a contract under the new law, (4) whether that person or business is a “minority business” or “minority person” under state law. Effective July 1, 2023.
Amends GS 113-270.3 to add a new special activity hunting license, “Bonus CWD Deer license,” to allow individuals with valid North Carolina hunting licenses for big game or those exempt from the hunting license requirement to take two deer of either sex in an area identified by the WRC for special management due to the presence of or potential for Chronic Wasting Disease during seasons and by methods authorized by the WRC. Sets license expiration date as June 30.
Amends the special license provisions of GS 113-291.2 (permitting the WRC to fix hunting seasons and bag limits) as follows. Changes the term "license" to "permit." Deletes the requirement for a $50 application fee. Authorizes both Executive Director (ED) and the ED’s designee to issue a special permit and deer tags for hunting (currently, just the ED). Adds addressing disease management in deer populations as a reason for either the ED or their designee to issue such special permit. (Currently, licenses may be issued to achieve the property owner’s deer population goals on their property, or to correct an imbalance in deer population.) Makes conforming changes. Allows ED or their designee to define manner of take and disease testing requirements on this special hunting permit (currently, just hunt dates). Specifies that when deer are killed for whom special tags are issued, the kill must be reported using the WRC’s requirements for big game harvest reporting (currently, must report in the wildlife cooperator tagging book issued with the tags).
Amends GS 75A-13.3 by specifying that persons riding on or being towed by a personal watercraft must wear a personal flotation device approved by the US Coast Guard. (Currently, persons must be wearing a type I, type II, type III, or type V personal flotation device approved by the Coast Guard.)
Amends GS 100-2.1(c) (setting forth exceptions to requirement of approval by the North Carolina Historical Commission to move or otherwise alter a landmark) by adding an object of remembrance commemorating law enforcement officers of the WRC killed in the line of duty to the list of exceptions.
Makes clarifying changes to GS 75A-34(a) and GS 75A-41.