Seven bills were set to become law this week without Gov. Pat McCrory’s signature as the 30-day mark since the legislature ratified the bills approaches.
McCrory signed one of the bills on Monday so that newborn screenings will now involve testing for Severe Combined Immunodeficiency (SCID), a disorder that causes children to lack immunities.
“Carlie left us far too early, but her life has inspired action to help other families across North Carolina,” McCrory said. “Every family should be able to screen and treat SCID as soon as possible, and the Baby Carlie Nugent Bill will help families do just that. This is a huge step in the right direction for protecting North Carolina newborns.”
Included in the new budget is $440,000 for the Department of Health and Human Services for equipment and supplies needed to expand the newborn screenings.
The move is expected to allow families to avoid the high cost of testing and treating a sick child by catching the disorder earlier while the child is still well, saving costs as well as hopefully the child’s life.
A House bill to require newborn health screenings to include testing for SCID, also known as “bubble boy disease,” would also become law this week, without the governor’s signature.
The bill was passed unanimously in the Senate and with the support of all but one House representative. Rep. Michael Speciale (R-Beaufort) opposed the bill.
The bill is headed with a resolution expressing the legislature’s opinions about the severity of the disease, while the bill directs the Commission on Public Health to amend rules to make the screening mandatory.
This bill also becomes effective when it becomes law, which would be Oct. 24.
The bill was named for Carlie Nugent, who passed away from complications associated with SCID at 7-moths-old.
The other measures include a bill to allow counties and cities to give grants for historic property preservation. McCrory fought for the state historic preservation tax credit earlier this year.
The governor has 30 days to sign or veto a bill before it becomes law without his signature.
The bill will allow a county or city to make grants or loans for the “rehabilitation of commercial or noncommercial historic structures” whether they are privately or publicly owned.
The bill was sent to McCrory Sept. 24.
The provision was attached to state ordinances relating to local economic development which governs local use of funds to purchase property for industrial parks, commercial use and other circumstances and to hold it for resale or granting, as long as it is expected to “increase the population, taxable property, agricultural industries, employment industrial output or business prospects of the city or county.”
The bill passed unanimously in the Senate but found 18 opponents in the House on second reading.
The bill will become effective when it becomes law, under the language in the bill.
Also set to become law this week is a bill to add graduate certificate programs to the list of programs eligible for National Guard tuition benefits.
Graduate certificate programs are on par with bachelor’s degrees but are more focused and take less time to complete.
Now National Guardsmen and Guardswomen will be able to participate in the graduate certificate programs, just as they can take part in community college and technical institute programs, vocation training, associate, bachelor’s and graduate degree programs.
The bill is set to become active when it becomes law; the bill was ratified Sept. 22.
Other bills set to become law
Also set to become law this month are two bills affecting the state’s Native American tribes, including a bill on the State Advisory Council for Indian Education and a bill relating to law enforcement and the Eastern Band of Cherokees.
Other bills set to become law include an insurance adjustment bill and a used needle disposal bill.