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Details of Florence legislation OK’d by N Carolina lawmakers

October 2, 2018

RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — A quick look at the content of two bills the North Carolina General Assembly approved Tuesday during a special session on Hurricane Florence relief. The pieces of legislation will:

— allow public schools in the counties (currently 28) designated as federal disaster areas to be forgiven up to 20 instructional days that they missed due to the storm. Current law requires schools provide a minimum of 185 days or 1,025 hours of instructional time. The new provision would not prevent these districts from making up some or all of the missed days.

— allow public schools in other counties that closed due to the storm to be exempt beyond their first two days missed. They also would not be prevented from making up those days.

— deem a student teacher’s internship program complete if the teacher is enrolled in a program or working at a school in a federal disaster area provided they completed as much of their internship as possible during the fall semester.

— make clear public school employees other than charter school employees will be paid without using leave for days when their schools were closed because of the storm and won’t be made up.

— create a Hurricane Florence Disaster Recovery Fund and transfer $56.5 million from the state’s rainy-day reserves to the new fund. Of that amount, $50 million would be used for any state match for federal recovery dollars or toward other state recovery programs. The rest would replace or supplement lost compensation of school lunch employees.

— extend the deadline for traditional voter registration from Oct. 12 to 5 p.m. Oct. 15.

— allow county election boards to replace early in-person voting sites damaged or made inaccessible by Florence on a unanimous vote.

— allow county election boards to alter Election Day voting places damaged or made inaccessible by Florence.

— direct the state election board to spend $400,000 toward educating displaced residents about voting accessibility and coordinate with other agencies to notify the residents about voting options.

— authorize the governor to waive Division of Motor Vehicles fees for duplicate driving- and motor vehicle-related documents and for first-time identification cards through Dec. 31 in counties the governor determines were affected by Florence.

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Sources: House Bill 4 , Senate Bill 2

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