NC Local Foods Council helps promote NC shrimp
LEGISLATIVE UPDATE for 6/25/2021:
NORTH CAROLINA GENERAL ASSEMBLY:
Everything (almost) in the General Assembly this week was budget. Almost because the Senate Judiciary Committee held a public hearing on the medical use of marijuana. No vote was taken, just public comments from mostly veterans suffering from PTSD and other injuries.
Not surprisingly, but still disappointing, there were a couple of fish provisions in the Senate’s version of the budget that was released this week. Once again there is a voluntary buyback provision funded by $1million from the general fund. Two years ago a similar proposal was in the budget that would have taken the money out of the Commercial Fishing Resource Fund and any licenses that were surrendered would not go back into the pool of available licenses. However, we got those provisions changed in 2019, but it was all moot when Governor Cooper vetoed the budget. This year’s Senate version does not take the money from the CFRF but still keeps any surrendered licenses from going back into the pool.
The Senate budget was approved on second reading on the floor yesterday by a vote of 32-18 with four Democrats voting with the Republicans. The third vote is on today’s calendar where approval is expected and then it will go to the House for consideration and without a doubt to a conference committee to hammer out the differences before going to the Governor’s desk.
GOVERNOR NAMES NEW DEQ SECRETARY
On Thursday, Governor Cooper named Elizabeth Biser, a longtime legislative lobbyist and environmental policy adviser, as the next Secretary for the Department of Environmental Quality. She is now subject to confirmation by the Senate. She’s been operating her own consulting business and working for a national group that promotes recycling. The Senate did not confirm the Governor’s previous choice.