Crossover — when most bills must pass either the House or the Senate to proceed this session — is always a Herculean feat of enduring long stretches of boredom punctuated by moments of outrage, and ultimately, depression at what our lawmakers hath wrought.
Although most bills were considered during yesterday’s marathon, crossover deadline is officially today. Both chambers are tidying up some brief unfinished business this morning. Then the legislative staff will publish a full list of bills that are eligible for further consideration this session. Beware: The contents of the loser bills can be grafted onto the winners. So an idea, bad or good, isn’t dead until the final gavel drops later this summer.
That means the billboard measures, HB 579 and 580, which were withdrawn from yesterday’s House calendar, could still reappear in other forms. At their core, these measures would allow outdoor advertising companies to mow down trees to erect their ginormous billboards. You, the driver, instead of being visually soothed by greenery inhabited by songbirds, could then get an uncluttered look at the dates of the Dixie Gun & Knife show or the auditions for Actors, Models & Talent for Christ.
Two notable bills did pass:
- In the Senate, the controversial HB 467, which restricts the amount of money people can receive if they sue hog farms in nuisance lawsuits, sailed through along party lines, 30-19. It had previously passed the House 68-47.
- HB 351, which would essentially encourage cities and towns to sell their water utilities to private companies, passed the House 89-30; 16 Democrats voted yes. (NCPW provided an explainer of the bill yesterday.)
The consequences of this bill are far-ranging. Those companies — such as Aqua NC — would hike the rates, and if past is prologue, provide low-quality water and poor customer service.
I can see you pushing away your plate of eggs.