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home : opinion : opinion July 25, 2021

7/19/2021 1:15:00 AM
Legislative Report from Rep. Jason Saine

Rep. Jason Saine
District 97-Lincoln County NC House of Representatives

Last week in the General Assembly
On Wednesday the House chamber voted on and passed Senate Bill 173- the Free the Smiles Act. This legislation would prevent the Cooper administration from enforcing a statewide mask mandate in schools for this upcoming school year. Rather, individual school districts would be in charge of creating their own mask policies should they so choose. The bill now heads back to the Senate for a final vote.

The Senate  released their $25.7 billion budget proposal this past Monday.  The budget process has begun to heat up in Raleigh so my office has been quite busy. 

SB 116: Putting North Carolina Back to Work Act. CCS: Saine
❖ Passed with a 65-45 vote in the HOUSE and sent to the GOVERNOR, awaiting action.
❖ Ends the $300/week “bonus” federal supplement that’s added to unemployment checks.

❖ Provides $250 million for child care subsidies, which will boost the day care industry struggling to care for children, thus allowing parents to go back to work.
❖ Requires those on unemployment to respond to job interview offers within 48 hours and requires them to attend that interview. Unemployed folks will have to accept the job offer if it pays at least 120% of their weekly benefit.

❖ Streamlines regulations for “Voluntary Agricultural Districts,” to protect farmland.
❖ Simplifies permitting for hog farmers to operate a farm digester system to capture methane gas for energy use.
❖ Increases punishment and penalties for timber larceny or other agriculture commodities.
❖ Allows option for paid leave for overtime earned by Forest Service firefighters.
❖ Waives requirement for trials for minor state forest offenses, e.g. swimming, camping.
❖ Empowers Forest Service to enforce laws against cutting or removing another's timber.

Voter ID Update
A new Monmouth University Poll shows 80% of Americans support voter ID, including 62% of Democrats. Despite North Carolina voters overwhelmingly approving a voter ID constitutional amendment in 2018, it has not been implemented in the state due to ongoing litigation in the courts.

Keep up with me online
Looking to keep up with what's going on at the legislature?
Check out my Facebook page here.
On Twitter you can follow me @JasonSaine97th.

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In an effort to keep the people informed, the Lincoln Herald posts Legislative Updates from NC Representative Jason Saine and NC Senator Ted Alexander.  We welcome readers' comments--approval or rebuttal--on the issues they discuss. 

The Lincoln Herald has been reporting local news for Lincoln, Gaston, Catawba & Cleveland counties online since 2012.  Anyone can read our articles without having to pay for a subscription; we post links to them on Facebook and Twitter; and those who have signed up for our email service--also FREE--receive a daily email with links to all the articles we've posted since the previous day.  

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