15 Bills We’re Watching Right Now in the North Carolina Legislature

The great seal of North Carolina is seen outside the state legislature building in Raleigh, N.C., on Monday, May 9, 2016. (Photo By Al Drago/CQ Roll Call)

By Keya Vakil

February 9, 2023

Among the proposed legislation are efforts to legalize medical marijuana, crack down on protesters, ban gender-affirming care for transgender minors, loosen gun rules on private school grounds, and overhaul the state’s redistricting process.

The North Carolina General Assembly has been in session for several weeks now, and lawmakers from both parties have introduced an array of legislation, some of which will pass, some of which won’t.

Here are 15 bills we’re keeping an eye on, along with their current status.

SB 49 – Dubbed by opponents as the “Don’t Say Gay” bill and supporters as the “Parents’ Bill of Rights,” this Republican bill would force teachers to out students to parents and bans teaching about gender identity and sexuality in K-4 classrooms in public schools.

Status: Passed the state Senate; sent to the House; referred to the House Rules, Calendar, and Operations Committee

SB 74 – This Democratic-proposed “Parents’ and Students’ Bill of Rights” affirms 10 rights for parents, which are already parental rights in the state, and enumerates 14 basic rights for students. It does not include provisions regarding sexual material or gender identity in elementary school classrooms.

Status: Referred to the Senate Committee on Rules and Operations

SB 3 – The “Compassionate Care Act” would legalize medical marijuana, though it would be highly regulated, allowing doctors to prescribe marijuana only to people with severe conditions, such as cancer, epilepsy, PTSD, and HIV.

Status: Referred to the Senate Judiciary Committee

SB 16 – This bill would require healthcare systems to submit acquisition and merger proposals to the state attorney general for review and empowers the AG to potentially block hospital mergers to prevent consolidation and closures.

Status: Referred to the Senate Committee on Rules and Operations

SB 40 – This bill would repeal the requirement to obtain a permit from the local sheriff before buying a handgun in North Carolina.

Status: Referred to the Senate Judiciary Committee

SB 41 – This bill would allow those with concealed carry gun permits to carry guns on school property after hours, if the building is being used for religious services.

Status: Referred to the Senate Judiciary Committee

SB 46 – This bill would ban surprise billing from out-of-network health providers delivering care at in-network health service facilities.

Status: Referred to the Senate Health Care Committee

HB 40 – This so-called “anti-riot” bill would increase the penalties for rioting or inciting rioting but could easily be abused to stifle free speech and discourage protests.

Status: Passed the House; sent to the Senate; referred to the Senate Rules and Operations Committee

HB 43 – This Republican-introduced bill would ban any transgender individual under the age of 18 from receiving gender-affirming medical treatment, even though research shows that such treatment improves the mental health of transgender youth and saves lives.

Status: Referred to the House Health Committee

HB 9 – This bill from Democrats would amend the state constitution to permanently take redistricting power out of the hands of partisan politicians and instead entrust it to an independent commission composed of everyday North Carolinians.

Status: Referred to the House Rules, Calendar, and Operations Committee

HB 47 – This bill from Republicans would allow security guards at religious private and charter schools and other private schools to carry firearms on school grounds, even when school is in session and children are present.

Status: Referred to the House Education Committee

HB 20 – The Cash Commitment Act would require retail businesses to accept cash payments.

Status: Referred to the House Banking Committee

HB 64 – This bill would impose a 4% fee on any international wire transfers originating in North Carolina.

Status: Referred to the House Banking Committee

HB 21 – The Energy Security Act of 2023 would require public utilities to provide security systems for substations to guard against vandalism and other threats.

Status: Referred to the House Energy and Public Utilities Committee

HB 10 – This bill would require local law enforcement to cooperate with federal immigration officers, effectively requiring sheriffs to do the job of federal agents.

Status: Referred to the House Judiciary Committee

READ MORE: NC Senate Republicans Pass ‘Don’t Say Gay’ Bill Which Could Force Teachers to Out Students


  • Keya Vakil

    Keya Vakil is the deputy political editor at COURIER. He previously worked as a researcher in the film industry and dabbled in the political world.

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