While much of this newsletter will be focused on the budget deal, the Governor did sign my bill, House Bill 814:Neighborhood Occupantless Vehicle, into law. It regulates how autonomous vehicles can operate in our state.
Following in the footsteps of states like Florida and Nevada, North Carolina now allows "neighborhood occupantless vehicles" to deliver goods to homes. Legislators wanted to get ahead of a growing industry.
Because of this forward-looking legislation, North Carolina will have laws that the rest of the country will emulate with regards to driverless vehicles.
After months of negotiating with Governor Cooper and Democrats in both the House and Senate, a final conference budget is ready to be voted on this week. The Senate will act first to concur with the conference budget since the original budget bill was a Senate bill this year. Their votes will happen on Tuesday and Wednesday with the House to follow on Wednesday evening and Thursday.
Democratic Governor Roy Cooper said Tuesday he will sign it into law, even though he won’t get everything he wants. A statement from Cooper’s office said the plan will contain a number of his priorities, including increased education funding.
From my perspective, I could not be happier. The amount of time this has taken has helped develop session fatigue for many, including me.
While the delay is for many reasons which include the pandemic itself, later tax filings related to the pandemic, redistricting, and political delays, it has not been pleasant to be away from family, home and the district for many extra months this year.