Last week during a COVID-19 press conference, Governor Roy Cooper announced that Executive Order 220: Extension of COVID-19 Measures to Reflect Public Health Safety Recommendations would expire. Executive Order 220 was an extension of EO 215 that lifted mask requirements in certain sectors of the private sector. During his press conference, Gov. Cooper and Dr. Cohen also announced an updated public school toolkit with guidance for masking which goes into effect July 30 at 5 p.m. Under their guidance
- All schools should require that all children and staff in schools K-8th grade wear face coverings consistently when indoors.
- Schools with K-8th grade should make mask use universally required regardless of vaccination status.
- In high schools, face coverings should also be worn indoors by all individuals who are not fully vaccinated, including students grades 9-12, workers, teachers, guests, other adults, and children age two (2) or older, unless an exception applies.
Wake County continues to be a leader among areas within the state that have successfully worked with the community to ensure everyone has access to a vaccine of their choosing. County Commission Chair Matt Calabria recently announced that 70 percent of the eligible population has received at least one dose, leading the state. And the effort to reach the remaining 30 percent is underway. Wake County Public Health announced last week that it is expanding its COVID-19 vaccine outreach strategy to include brining vaccinations directly to homes. This allows Public Health staff, community workers and vaccinators the opportunity to have one-on-one conversations with residents, provide education and answer any questions they have prior to making the decision to get vaccinated.
As for legislative action last week, House Bill 366: Regulatory Act of 2021 passed the Senate and has been returned to the House for concurrence in the Senate Committee Substitute. The bill would amend state laws related to State and local government, agriculture, energy, environment, natural resources, and other various regulations. Specifically, the Senate PCS makes the following regulatory changes to NC law that may affect your business:
- Requires Pre-K operators to provide parents with information pertaining to public and private school options within the county they are located.
- Requires the NC Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) to examine the needs associated with expanding the express permitting program to include additional types of permits typically required for job creating and real estate development or redevelopment activities.
- Requires the Division of Water Infrastructure within DEQ to prioritize projects that improve designated impaired waters of the state and that serve as a public water supply for a large public water system (over 175,000 service connections).
- Clarifies that proof of mailing is sufficient proof of notice for certain insurance policy or renewal cancellations by the insurer.
Regulatory Reform has been an annual priority of the General Assembly since 2011. The overall goal is to reassess the burden that was placed on businesses over decades of agency oversight of the private sector. That level of oversight had grown to a level that far outpaced our neighboring states and placed additional cost burdens on North Carolina businesses. The balance between appropriate oversight and burdensome regulations is one that we will continue to monitor and provide you with updates.
To learn more about our GA priorities, track legislative bills, or to read our blog posts, you can visit our webpage or follow us on Twitter @RcgaJ, @tierra_rcga, or @raleighchamber.