bill 56, which was originally filed in February and which is now in its
fourth edition, was amended this week to include the repeal of the
plastic bag ban on the Outer Banks that was initiated in 2009.
plastic bag ban was spearheaded by then Senate President Pro Tem Marc
Basnight as a means of cutting down on litter along the coastline as
well as sea turtle deaths. The 2009 ban required stores to use paper
bags, and also offer a $.05 refund or credit to shoppers who bring
their own bags.
revised House Bill 56 also added changes to the number of seats on the
state Marine Fisheries Commission, reducing the size from its current
nine to seven seats, and effectively removing two at-large positions.
It was also noted within the revised bill that “A supermajority of the
Commission shall be five members” and “A supermajority shall be
necessary for any action taken under the powers and duties set forth in
this section, including rule making and the regulation of fisheries
under a fishery management plan.”
bill also outlines the qualifications / background for the Marine
Fisheries Commission members, which are appointed by the governor. This
includes enlisting commercial fishing representatives, recreational
fisherman representatives, a fisheries scientist, and a licensed fish
dealer and / or a person experienced or in seafood processing or
The complete bill can be viewed here: http://www.ncleg.net/Sessions/2017/Bills/House/PDF/H56v4.pdf
The bag ban repeal is mentioned briefly in Section 9, while the Marine Fisheries adjustments are addressed in section 20.
bag ban repeal is also mentioned in a similar bill addressing
environmental matters that was cleared by the state House in late
April. The Marine Fisheries Commission changes have also been covered
before, in the recent Senate version of the state budget which was
approved in May.
Bill 56, which was primarily sponsored by Representative Pat McElraf
(R) of Carteret County and Representative Larry Yarborough (R) of
Granville County was approved by the Senate Agriculture Environment and
Natural Resources committee, but must be returned to the Senate Finance
committee and the Rules panel, before it is voted on by the Senate. It
will then need to go back to the House for approval, due to the revised
For more information on the current status and movement of House Bill 56, visit http://www.ncleg.net/gascripts/BillLookUp/BillLookUp.pl?Session=2017&BillID=H56&submitButton=Go.