Raleigh, N.C. — The annual Farm Bill included a surprise provision to make North Carolina the first state in the nation to bar soy, almond and other plant-based drinks from marketing themselves as "milk," starting next year.
Other provisions in the bill included presuming farm operations to not be a nuisance unless they are conducting in a way not considered regular practice. That was in reaction to a series of lawsuits against large-scale hog farms over foul odors and other nuisances.
Senate and House committees approved companion bills on the Build NC Bond Act, which would allow the state treasurer to issue up to $300 million a year in "special indebtedness" – no voter approval would be needed – to speed up road construction projects that the Department of Transportation would never get around to or would have to delay for years.
A Senate committee quickly approved a system to track rape kits in law enforcement agencies statewide, despite concerns that no funding was included for the system.
One bill that won't be getting a committee hearing soon, much to the chagrin of sponsors, would allow teachers with concealed carry permits to take some additional training and then carry their guns at school to help fend off potential shootings.