allow workers to recover if they can prove it is more likely than not that they contracted COVID-19 at the worksite. Introduced during the “COVID-19 Session” the bill attracted almost a majority of the House as principal sponsors and co-sponsors. The coalition convinced 17 of the 20 GOP co-sponsors to remove their names from the bill and the bill was not calendared. Subsequently, Rep. Jackson attempted other unsuccessful efforts to attach this language to other bills.
Key Legislators: Representatives David Lewis (R-Harnett) and the House GOP Caucus
This otherwise unrelated bill served as a vehicle for the NCHBA and the NC Retail Merchants Association to attach language which requires local governments who impose emergency declarations to conspicuously publish these declarations on their websites and to submit an executed copy of the declaration to the NC Department of Public Safety’s WebEOC critical incident management system. During the COVID-19 crisis, both NCHBA and the Retail Merchants (and other business groups) had difficulty determining all of the local jurisdictions across the state who had adopted local emergency declarations, restrictions or curfews. This posting and notice requirement is designed to provide more effective public notice.
Key Legislators: Senator Chuck Edwards (R-Henderson) and Representative John Bell (R-Wayne)
This legislation was the product of a stakeholder group which included the bar association, title insurance companies, and other interested parties for the purpose of updating the condominium statutes. NCHBA identified a provision which needed to be eliminated and two others which needed to be amended. With the strong support of the bill’s primary managers, these actions were taken and NCHBA signed off on the bill.
Key Legislators: Representative Destin Hall (R-Caldwell) and Senator Rob Bryan (R-Mecklenburg)
NCHBA became aware of a bill that was being circulated to interested groups prior to introduction which proposed to amend North Carolina’s Marketable Title Act (Chapter 47B of the General Statutes). This act provides “…that if a person claims title to real property under a chain of title for 30 years, and no other person as filed a notice of any claim of interest in the real property during the 30-year period, then all conflicting claims based upon any title transaction prior to the 30-year period shall be extinguished.”
This proposed amendment would have expanded an existing exception to this rule which limits the exception merely to residential use to include “all other terms and conditions related to or incorporated into the covenant.” If enacted, this expansion would have created a major disruption on titles across the state in old developments where thousands of lots were encumbered by restrictions that are far outside the scope of current title examinations. Furthermore, it appeared that this amendment arose from ongoing litigation. After being made aware of these concerns, the legislator decided not to introduce this bill.
Regarding SB 862, NCHBA has long been a leader of the business community on workers’ compensation issues. In fact, one of NCHBA’s major contributions to the historic workers’ compensation reform effort enacted in 2011 was to subject gubernatorial appointments to the Industrial Commission to legislative confirmation. This process has resulted in the business community supporting some of the past nominees and opposing others.
During this session, we worked with representatives of the employee community to recommend a consensus candidate, Wanda Taylor, to Governor Cooper whom he nominated earlier this year to the commission. Wanda is highly qualified for this position having extensive experience over her career representing both employers and injured employees. She spent over twenty years with the commission as a deputy commissioner, the last six of which as Chief Deputy.
While the Senate unanimously approved her nomination, the House chose not to take up her confirmation in the waning days of the session.