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North Carolina General Assembly Update: CGR Team Addition, Budget Update, Hemp/Medical Marijuana Bill

Updated: Jun 22


Checkmate Government Relations brings years of experience providing clients in a diverse range of industries with comprehensive policy and advocacy advice before federal, state, and local agencies. In North Carolina, we advise local municipalities, corporate transportation entities, nonprofit organizations, statewide associations, government vendors, and Fortune 500 companies before the North Carolina General Assembly and executive branch.


While the legislature is in session, our team provides weekly updates on the activity at the NC General Assembly this week. Please feel free to contact a member of the team with any questions or visit checkmategr.com for more information about our services.


CGR Team Addition

 

Checkmate Government Relations is excited to welcome Kendall Conger to our team. Kendall joins us as a Government Relations Analyst after working for U.S. Senator Ted Budd and Congressman-Elect Addison McDowell. Kendall graduated from NC State University with a Political Science Degree. She can be reached at kendall@checkmategr.com

 

Welcome, Kendall!

 

Budget Negotiations

 

This week, the House and Senate released two different versions of the budget.  H263, 2024 Appropriations Act, is the House version that was made public on Monday, June 17th.  The plan includes raises for state employees, increased funding for childcare, and an increase in the Opportunity Scholarship program. The bill passed (68-36) on the floor on Thursday. However, the Senate does not seem interested in taking up the House’s version of the budget as negotiations remain at an impasse between the two chambers. 

 

The Senate released its version of the budget on Wednesday, June 19th.  A proposed committee substitute for H317, Adjustments to the 2023 Appropriations Act, received a favorable report from the Senate Appropriations/Base Budget Committee on Thursday morning.  The Senate spending plan would provide an additional $136.5 million in one-time childcare funding to address the loss of federal COVID-19 pandemic relief aid at the end of June and would provide additional funding for the Opportunity Scholarship program but would not include further raises for teachers and state employees.  



 

Hemp Bill

 

A proposed committee substitute for H563, Hemp-Derived Consumables/Con Sub Changes, passed its second reading in the Senate by a vote of 33-9 on Thursday afternoon.  The bill in its current form would make several changes regulating the sale and distribution of hemp-derived products and would ban hemp-derived consumable products from school grounds.  This bill would also amend the North Carolina Controlled Substances Act to add tianeptine as a Schedule II controlled substance, xylazine as a Schedule III controlled substance, and kratom as a Schedule VI controlled substance.  The Senate also added language that would enact the North Carolina Compassionate Care Act to legalize and provide for the sale of cannabis and cannabis-infused products to qualified patients with debilitating medical conditions.


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