@NCCapitol

@NCCapitol

Wednesday Wrap: Farmers come to town

Posted March 20, 2019 8:07 p.m. EDT

— Wednesday was the annual Ag Day at the legislature, and farmers were out in force.

Legislative leaders, Agriculture Commissioner Steve Troxler, Gov. Roy Cooper and Lt. Gov. Dan Forest all praised the work of farmers in a rally across Jones Street from the Legislative Building. Sen. Brent Jackson, R-Sampson, also took the opportunity to roll out the annual Farm Bill, which was heavy on pushing hemp production as the state's next cash crop.

CBD oil, which can be extracted from hemp, was the subject of a bill that cleared the Senate Judiciary committee. The proposal would expand the allowable medicinal uses in North Carolina for the oil, which is currently limited to seizure disorders.

The committee also approved a measure setting aside funds to test thousands of rape kits sitting in law enforcement evidence lockers across the state.

On another sex assault front, a bipartisan group of lawmakers filed a bill to make spiking someone's drink, with a date rape drug or other foreign substance, a felony. The proposal also would clarify that a drugged person cannot consent to sex.

The House approved a slate of six people for the UNC Board of Governors, despite complaints from Democrats over the lack of an election and the shrinking diversity on the board. The Senate will elect its six appointees on Thursday.

Finally, Conner's Law cleared the House. The proposal named for State Highway Patrol Trooper Kevin Conner, who was killed during a traffic stop last fall, would increase the penalty for anyone who uses a firearm to assault a law enforcement officer and increases the death benefits for families of fallen officers.