Bills trickle in as NCGA work picks up

Several North Carolina counties have been granted disaster status, making them eligible for aid, since the application period for the Hurricane Florence Agricultural Disaster Program of 2018 closed. State lawmakers moved this week to give farmers impacted by Hurricane Florence and Tropical Storm Michael in those late-added counties a chance to take advantage of help from the fund. HB127/SB 77, Ag Disaster Fund/Certain Counties, would reopen the application period for 10 days for farmers in counties added to the disaster declaration list since Jan. 31. The bill was introduced in the House and Senate this week, and passed several Senate committees. It is expected to go before the full Senate next week.

Also introduced this week was, SB 86, Small Business Healthcare Act. This bill would provide added flexibility for associations to provide health plans to their business-owner members.

And, state lawmakers are once again pondering a bill related to raw milk. HB 103, Small Dairy Sustainability Act, would establish a permitting program and allow retail sales of unpasteurized "raw" milk. North Carolina Farm Bureau policy opposes the sale of raw milk.

Finally, please SAVE THE DATE: Wednesday, March 20 is N.C. Agriculture Awareness Day at the General Assembly! More details will be coming soon.