This week started out very busy, this time early on Monday morning which is not the norm but with crossover deadline looming for Thursday, there was a lot of activity.

I wish I could be more definitive in saying that House bills are 483 and 486 are dead, but alas, I cannot. H-486 has a monetary component in it so it’s not subject to crossover, although it seems like the majority party has no appetite for the bill. (That’s the one that doubles license fees among other things and NCFA opposes.)

H-483, the fish spawn bill is an interesting one to watch process-wise. It’s our understanding that the majority didn’t have an appetite for that bill either, but in the spirit of the Easter season and the Resurrection, the bill seemed to stay alive. However, when one looks at the Rules the House and Senate have adopted regarding what bills MUST meet the crossover deadline, 483 certainly should be dead if not passed by the House on May 9th, which it did not. We’ll keep an eye on that one to see what Rules really mean.

Rep. Bobby Hanig has stayed on top of things with discussions with leadership on the process and sending out emails to his fellow House members. All of our coastal Representatives and Senators have been on the same page and have been very supportive.

On another extremely positive note, the Senate passed both bills we’ve been working on. S-554 MARINE FISHERIES REFORMS, and S-648 SUPPORT SHELLFISH AQUACULTURE both received unanimous support in the Senate Rules Committee on Monday with Senator Norman Sanderson once again doing an excellent job of explaining the bills. Both bills then passed on the floor of the Senate on Tuesday, with 554 passing 46 to 1, and 648 passing 47 to 0!

Both bills are now in the House.

NCFA’s Glenn Skinner provided a response to the House members about Rep. Larry Yarborough’s comments on sea turtles and gillnets. After that, Rep. Yarborough sent another note to the members along with CCA’s David Sneed. The only way to address these issues is for all to be in the same room and have instructive dialogue. Making snide comments on the House floor are unbecoming and serve no purpose but to incite.

I attended the Ag Products Reception/Dinner at the State Fairgrounds on Wednesday evening. It was a great evening of good food and fellowship. NCFA is one of the many sponsors of the event. It was made extra special for me with the Farmall M tractor parked out front.

All in all, a very good week for us in Raleigh. Tiring, but productive. Praise God!


H-169, the bill to make the Loggerhead Sea Turtle the state reptile passed the House and in Senate Rules. No action in the Senate this week.

Voted favorably 11-3 in Wildlife Resources on April 16; now in Rules.
Should be dead as it did not make it through the House before crossover. But this is the Easter season, so we’ll be vigilant.

Voted favorably 6-4 in Wildlife Resources on April 16; now in Finance.
This is similar to a bill filed last year, but it died in committee. This bill would eliminate the RCGL or recreational commercial gear license, would only allow one standard commercial license per person with person including corporation; doubles the license fees. We understand it was discussed in Republican caucus but unsure of status.

No action this week. In Senate Rules.
Would prohibit offshore drilling. Same as H-545 below.

S-554: MARINE FISHERIES REFORMS; by Senators Sanderson, Brown, Tillman and Steinburg
Discussed in Rules Committee this week and passed unanimously.
Passed on the Senate floor on Tuesday, 46 to 1.
Now in the House.

S-648: SUPPORT SHELLFISH AQUACULTURE; by Senators Sanderson, Rabon and Steinburg
Discussed in Rules Committee and passed unanimously.
Passed on the Senate floor on Tuesday, 47 to 0.
Now in the House.

H-545: PROTECT THE MILITARY/FISHERIES/TOURISM; by Rep. Harrison, Martin, Russell and others
No action this week: In the House Rules Committee. Same as S-517 above.

H-598: BOTTLENOSE DOLPHIN AS STATE MARINE MAMMAL by Reps Hanig, Grange and others.
Passed the House and sent to the Senate.
In the Senate Rules Committee. No action in the Senate this week.

H-597: WILDLIFE RESOURCES COMMISSION AMENDS; sponsored by Adams, Henson, Wray, Yarborough and others.
Substantially raises license fees and makes changes in proclamation authority.
Passed the House Wildlife Resources Committee; now in Finance.
No action this week, but NOT subject to crossover so still alive.

H-809: SUPPORT SHELLFISH AQUACULTURE; McElraft, Yarborough, Shepard, Harrison and others.
Similar to S-648 mentioned above. In House Environment Committee.
Since S-648 passed the Senate and now in the House, no action will be taken on this bill.

Similar in name to S-554 and H-860 but NOT the same in content!
In House Rules Committee. No action this week.
NCFA opposes H-810.

H-860: MARINE FISHERIES REFORMS: Cleveland, McElraft, Butler
Similar to S-554.
In House Rules Committee.
Since S-554 passed the Senate and now in House, no action will be taken on this bill.

Provides legislative oversight of marine fisheries issues by the Joint Legislative Oversight Committee on Agriculture and Natural and Economic Resources.
Passed the House and sent to the Senate.
In Senate Rules. No action this week.