Bills signed by McCrory address Map Act, industrial hemp


RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — A short-term response to a North Carolina Supreme Court ruling last month over land for proposed highway projects and slight adjustments to a 2015 law authorizing experimental industrial hemp farming have been signed into law by Gov. Pat McCrory.

McCrory’s office announced late Tuesday he had signed five more bills the General Assembly left on his desk when legislators wrapped up their annual work session.

One bill addresses several transportation issues as well as the 1987 Map Act, which had been used by the state to keep property costs in check while planning to build loops around cities. Landowners listed on maps showing proposed highway routes and filed by the Department of Transportation have been barred from making additions to their homes or subdividing their property.

The justices ruled the land-use restrictions effectively took private property from landowners, who now could be compensated financially above previous property tax breaks. Some have estimated the potential cost to the state for the ruling in the hundreds of millions of dollars.

The new law in part directs how litigation covering thousands of landowners will be paid for and tells DOT to study how to balance landowners’ needs with protecting transportation corridors. Maps also have been rescinded and a one-year moratorium on filing these maps are now in place.

McCrory’s actions now leave about 30 bills on his desk. He must sign or veto them by July 31 or they become law without his signature. Pending bills not addressed publicly include state budget adjustments and changes to the process for cleaning up and closing coal ash pits.

Speaking to reporters Tuesday in Cary, McCrory said he didn’t anticipate the need for a veto at this time.

“Right now, nothing stands out but I want to make sure that I give every one of my Cabinet secretaries a chance to thoroughly review the bills,” the governor said.

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