RALEIGH, N.C. — Governor Roy Cooper signed the following bills into law on July 2:

Governor Cooper shared the following statement on SB 808: “This bill contains additional funding for COVID-19 testing and tracing, which are vital in our fight against the pandemic. I will continue working with legislators and the federal government to increase our testing and tracing capabilities to protect North Carolinians from this virus.”

Governor Cooper shared the following statement on HB 425: “It’s important for us to protect the families of courageous officers murdered in the line of duty and this bill helps do that.”

Governor Cooper shared the following statement on HB 1053: “As a country, we ask a lot of our military spouses, and this bill makes it easier for them to continue working when their family has to pick up and move. I am grateful for their sacrifices, and I sign this bill into law in their honor.”

Governor Cooper also vetoed the following bills:

Governor Cooper shared the following statement on SB 599: “Tying the hands of public health and executive branch officials in times of pandemic is dangerous, especially when case counts and hospitalizations are rising at a concerning rate. As we see in other states with surging COVID-19 case counts, state and local officials must be able to take swift action during this emergency to prevent a surge of patients from overwhelming hospitals and endangering the lives of North Carolinians. At this critical time, opening bowling alleys, skating rinks, and other indoor entertainment facilities runs contrary to both the troubling trends regarding COVID-19 deaths in North Carolina as well as scientific and medical data, which establishes that COVID-19 is significantly more likely to be transmitted in these settings. Bowling alleys and skating rinks exhibit many of the risk factors under the best available scientific and medical data. In these places, people gather in close proximity, are indoors with recirculating air, stay in the space for extended period of time, and engage in physical exertion. Opening these higher-risk facilities would spread COVID-19 and endanger the State’s flexibility to open the public schools. Given the rapidly evolving nature of this pandemic, executive officials are best positioned to make emergency determinations about public health. The bill is intended to restrict leaders who need to respond quickly to outbreaks and new scientific information to protect public health and safety.”

Governor Cooper shared the following statement on SB 105: “The Emergency Management Act clearly provides the Governor with statutory authority to direct the state’s response to a public health emergency that could affect the entire state’s population. A devastating pandemic, like COVID-19, threatens the state’s people and warrants providing the state’s chief executive have the authority to manage the state’s response by placing prohibitions and restrictions on activities that threaten public health and safety. The legislators who foresaw such challenges were right to vest that authority with the Governor, so that government can respond quickly and on a statewide basis to emergencies as they evolve. Placing additional bureaucratic and administrative obligations on the declaration of a state of emergency is a substantial change in the law, frustrates executive branch officials’ ability to quickly and efficiently respond to such an emergency by requiring the concurrence of officials with limited involvement in managing the response, and would risk diverting focus from responding to such an emergency.” 

Governor Cooper shared the following statement on HB 806, HB 258 and HB 686: “Tying the hands of public health officials in times of pandemic is dangerous, especially when case counts and hospitalizations are rising. State and local officials must be able to take swift action during the COVID-19 emergency to prevent a surge of patients from overwhelming hospitals and endangering the lives of North Carolinians. The bill could restrict leaders who need to respond quickly to outbreaks and protect public health and safety.”

Governor Cooper shared the following statement on HB 612: “House Bill 612 limits the ability of the Department of Health and Human Services to implement, adapt to and oversee programs of public assistance and child welfare which are regulated and driven by federal law, thereby jeopardizing the health, safety and well-being of our most vulnerable populations. Additionally, this is an overreach of legislative authority to effectively nullify executive branch policy and rulemaking, which is unconstitutional.”

Governor Cooper shared the following statement on HB 652: “This bill allows guns on school property, which threatens the safety of students and teachers.”

Governor Cooper shared the following statement on HB 918: “House Bill 918 discourages pregnant women with substance use disorders from seeking treatment and prenatal care, risking their health and the health of newborns. And while it penalizes pregnant women with substance use disorders, it does nothing to expand access to treatment. This would disproportionately impact women of color and low-income women, who are already less likely to have access to the substance use treatment and quality healthcare they need.”

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