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Rep. Warren’s car-charging bill awaits governor’s approval

SALISBURY — With a long session slowing to an end, Rowan County legislators are pushing their bills through the General Assembly for the governors approval and waiting for some to simply receive the governor’s approval.

Rep. Harry Warren, R-76, is one of the primary sponsors of Renewable Energy Amendments, or House Bill 329, which is now on Gov. Roy Cooper’s desk awaiting his signature. The bill would, among other things, allow for electric power suppliers to sell electricity for charging stations for electric vehicles.

Warren said the bill aimed to make the state more attractive for tourism as the sale of electric vehicles has gone up. Other states have passed similar legislation to the bill.

With the bill, Warren hopes there is an incentive for tourism based companies, electric power companies and electric vehicle customers. Being able to offer more electric vehicle charging stations is forward thinking and attractive for tourists.

“For me, it was something we needed to address as an economic standpoint of tourism,” Warren said.

He also said charging customers for powering up their cars will not be an unexpected cost and compared it to buying a car with a high mile per gallon.

The bill passed with bipartisan support — a unanimous vote in the Senate and a 115-3 vote in the House on Monday.

“It flew through with strong bipartisan support,” Warren said.

Warren said the success of the bill was because of efforts to talk to the members of the Republican caucus to give them a clear understanding of the need and also it being good for the state. Warren commended Rep. John Szoka, R-45, who sponsored the bill, for assisting as Warren worked on other bills.

Warren said he also is pushing for a Gaming Commission bill after working for it for five years. The bill would stable a commission to put gambling under one roof and provide an easier way to regulate it, he explains.

To help push the bill through before deadline, the unrelated Senate Bill 574 has been gutted and replaced with Warren’s measure. Previously the bill updated the definition of physical therapy. Warren said the move is common toward the end of the session.

The bill will be up for vote today and then head to the Senate bypassing the committees.

Warren was able to make the move by swapping bills with Sen. Jim Davis. While he appears to be primary sponsor of a Swain County Settlement Trust Fund, he was asked by Davis to gut the bill for one of his counties. Originally H.B. 156 was related to wastewater lines for Rowan County businesses. H.B. 268, or Amend On-Site Wastewater Laws, was passed Wednesday.

Other bills from local legislators waiting for the governor’s approval include:

• Allow Absentee Ballots for Fire District Election, which Rep. Julia Howard, R-77, is the first primary sponsor of, is waiting for Cooper’s approval after passes in the Senate on Monday.

• Howard is also a primary sponsor of Adopt Rules Incorporating 2017 Food Code, which allows the Commission for Public Health to adopt the 2017 United States Food and Drug Administration Food Code. It’s also awaiting the governor’s approval.

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