To Everything There is a Season

To everything in Raleigh there is a season, and a time to every purpose in the Legislative Building; A time to introduce a bill, a time to co-sponsor; a time for a committee meeting, and a time for a motion. A time to be recognized, a time to yield; a time to speak, and a time to keep silent. A time to vote, and a time to crossover; a time to veto, and a time to override. A time to be elected, a time to retire; a time to caucus, and sometimes even a time to switch over.

In Raleigh, sandwiched between the first day of Spring and the first day of Summer, is a shorter and lesser-known season called Crossover Week.

Crossover Week comes at the midway point in the legislature’s long session, marking the date by which bills must pass in the chamber from which they were introduced to be eligible for consideration in the other chamber for the remainder of the biennium — and ultimately, have a chance at becoming law.

And as the first days of Spring and Summer are determined by the position of the earth in space, Crossover Week is likewise determined by the corner offices in the Legislative Building. This year, Crossover fell in the first week of May, with the final deadline for passing bills coming at 11:59 pm on Thursday, May 4.

A bill is generally considered dead if it doesn’t make the Crossover deadline, but there are many exceptions and workarounds. The legislature exempts several categories of legislation right off the top from the crossover deadline, including those that: 1) spend money (appropriations bills), 2) raise taxes or fees (revenue bills), 3) redraw legislative district boundaries (redistricting bills), 4) establish districts for Congress (reapportionment bills) or boundaries for State or local entities, 5) address election laws, 6) ratify an amendment or amendments to the U.S. Constitution, 7) provide for amendments to the North Carolina Constitution, 8) provide for action on nominations or appointments by the Governor or the General Assembly, or 9) adjournment resolutions.

Generally speaking, bills subject to the crossover deadline deal with substantive policy issues. All told, nearly 300 House bills and 175 Senate bills met this year’s Crossover deadline. For a complete list of bills that made the cut, click here.

Some noteworthy bills that passed the House include:

House Bill 20: Cash Commitment Act (passed the House 112-5) This bill would require businesses selling goods or services and health care providers to accept cash as a form of payment for sales made at the physical location during hours someone is working at the business or office.

House Bill 162: Living Donor Protection Act (passed the House 118-0) This bill would provide insurance protections and a tax credit for living organ donors, including bone marrow, and would allow paid leave for State employees and State-supported personnel who are living organ or bone morrow donors.

House Bill 326: NC Time Zone/Observe DST All Year (passed the House 93-24) This bill would allow North Carolina to adopt Daylight Savings Time year-round if authorized by Congress.

House Bill 363: The Gabe Torres Act (passed the House 116-0) This bill would allow law enforcement officers killed while in route to duty to receive a death benefit and would be effective retroactively to January 1, 2022.

House Bill 607: Prohibit Compelled Speech/Higher Ed. (passed the House 73-43) This bill would prohibit the University of North Carolina schools and community colleges from pressuring and forcing certain forms of student and employee speech.

House Bill 621: 3-Year FDA Approval for New Childhood Vaxx(passed the House 76-40) This bill would clarify that a required vaccine be approved by the FDA for three years before being added to the childhood immunization schedule, or be recommended by both the North Carolina Medical Society Board of Directors and the North Carolina Pediatric Society Board of Directors.

House Bill 707: Assaults on First Responders & Social Workers (passed the House 116-2) This bill would increase the penalty for assault with a firearm on certain emergency, medical, and law enforcement personnel and increase the punishment for an assault on a legislative, executive, or court officer that results is serious bodily injury.

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