New laws go into effect on January 1

2018-01-02 | January 2, 2018

The effective date of legislation varies from bill to bill. Some bills go effective immediately upon the Governor's signature into law, while other bills may not go into effect for another six months or a couple of years. The following legislation, passed in the 2017 short session, went into effect on January 1, 2018.


HB 243: Strengthen Opioid Misuse Prevention (STOP) Act - While some provisions, like the provision requiring pain management PAs and NPs to personally consult with their supervising physician prior to prescribing opioids went into effect already, beginning with the new year, all providers are limited to prescribing no more than a 5 day supply of opioids upon the initial consultation and treatment for acute pain. This limitation is expanded to seven days for post-operative acute pain relief. Upon any subsequent consultation for the same pain, providers may prescribe any appropriate supply of opioids.


Additionally, following terms are defined within the STOP Act and went into effect on January 1:


Acute Pain: Pain, whether resulting from disease, accident, intentional trauma, or other cause, that the practitioner reasonably expects to last for three months or less. The term does not include chronic pain or pain being treated as part of cancer care, hospice care, palliative care, or medication-assisted treatment for substance use disorder.


Chronic Pain: Pain that typically lasts for longer than three months or that lists beyond the time of normal tissue healing.


Surgical Procedure: A procedure that is performed for the purpose of structurally altering the human body by incision or destruction of tissues as part of the practice of medicine. This term includes the diagnostic or therapeutic treatment of conditions or disease processes by use of instruments such as lasers, ultrasound, ionizing, radiation, scalpels, probes, or needles that cause localized alteration or transportation of live human tissue by cutting, burning, vaporizing, freezing, suturing, probing, or manipulating by closed reduction for major dislocations and fractures, or manipulating by closed reduction for major dislocations and fractures, or otherwise altering by any mechanical, thermal, light-based, electromagnetic, or chemical means.


SB 104: Require Criminal BGC/Pharmacist Licensure - Requires criminal background checks for pharmacist licensure applicants.


SB 257: Appropriations Act of 2017 - Most of the budget bill went into effect at the beginning of the fiscal year, July 1, 2017, but effective January 1, Section 11H.20(a) requires the Department of Health and Human Services to review information concerning changes in circumstances that may affect a beneficiary's eligibility to receive medical assistance benefits. This review must happen on a quarterly basis and the information is to be shared with the county departments of social services.


As for non-health related bills, the following laws went into effect on January 1, 2018:


(Unless otherwise noted, the entire bill went into effect at the beginning of the year)


HB 21: Driver Instruction/Law Enforcement Stops - Requires the driver education curriculum to include instruction on law enforcement procedures during traffic stops.


HB 84: DL/Deaf or Hard of Hearing Designation - Directs the DMV to develop a designation for driver licenses that may be granted upon request to a person who is deaf or hard of hearing.


HB 183: Retirement Administration Changes of 2017 (Secs. 3, 9) - Makes clarifying and administrative changes to the state's retirement system laws.


HB 252: Building Code Regulatory Reform (Sec. 4(a) & (b)) - Makes changes and clarifications to the statutes that govern the creation and enforcement of building codes.


HB 275: No Stormwater Fees on Taxiways or Runways - Exempts airports from paying a stormwater utility fee levied on runways and taxiways.


HB 383: NAIC Models/ORSA & Credit for Reinsurance (Sec. 1) - Makes changes to insurance laws on own risk and solvency assessments and credit for reinsurance and implements the revised model regulations of the National Association of Insurance Commissioners governing recommendations made to consumers regarding the purchase or exchange of annuities.


SB 16: Business Regulatory Reform Act of 2017 (Secs. 1, 4, 14(c)) - Provides further regulatory relief in state laws. Specifically, Section 1 requires state agencies to provide additional notice of petitions for rule making, Section 4 allows for optional meals for bed and breakfast guests, and Section 14(c) disallows the operation of any device that a person knows will expose the public to an unsafe condition and sets out the penalties for violating this law.


SB 82: Achieving Business Efficiencies - Makes changes to the employment laws.


SB  131: Regulatory Reform Act of 2016-2017 (Sec. 2.7) - The bill makes various changes to state laws and largely went into effect upon signature into law, but Section 2.7, which renames and amends the Board of Refrigeration Examiners, went into effect yesterday.


SB 257: Appropriations Act of 2017 (Secs. 31.3, 34.21, 34.32) - Other parts of the budget bill that went into effect on January 1 includes Section 31.3(d), which requires the Department of Administration to take into account additional costs of the maintenance and operation of the agencies' motor fleets, Section 34.21, which changes the allowable use of proceeds of aviation gasoline and jet fuel taxes by limiting it to general aviation airports for time-sensitive aviation capital improvement projects for economic development purposes, and Section 34.32, which authorizes the DMV to charge fees to any person that requests an administrative hearing.


SB 384: Criminal Law Changes (Sec. 6) - The bill makes various changes to the state's criminal laws, and Section 6 amends the Sheriffs' Supplemental Pension Fund.


SB 413: Clarify Motor Vehicle Dealer Laws (Sec. 5) - Clarifies motor vehicle dealers and manufacturers licensing laws. Specifically, Section 5 prohibits dealers from charging shop and other service-related fees unless a notice of fees is posted in a conspicuous place of the service area of the dealership. The total amount of fees must also be detailed on the repair order or invoice.


SB 567: Reform/Correct/Wills and Trusts (Secs. 1, 3, 5) - Provides for the judicial reformation of wills to correct mistakes and the judicial modification of wills to achieve the testator's tax objectives.


SB 569: Uniform Power of Attorney Act - Establishes the "Uniform Power of Attorney Act" for North Carolina.


SB 578: Veteran-Owned Small Business/Annual Report - Requires the Secretary of State to compile information about the number of veteran-owned and service-disabled veteran-owned small businesses on an annual basis.


SB 582: Budget & Agency Technical Corrections (Secs. 1.3, 4.6, 8.7) - Makes changes to the 2017 budget and makes agency technical corrections.


SB 628: Various Changes to the Revenue Laws (Secs. 2.1-2.8) - Makes changes to the state's business tax and sales and use tax laws. Sections 2.1 through 2.8 make changes and clarifications to sales and use tax laws.


SB 656: Electoral Freedom Act of 2017 - Changes the definition of a "political party" by reducing the number of signatures required for the formation of a new political party and for unaffiliated candidates to obtain ballot access eligibility, authorizes the establishment of political parties recognized in a substantial number of states in the prior presidential election, changes the timing of filing petitions, reduces the threshold for a substantial plurality to 30%, and eliminates judicial primaries for the 2018 General Election.