NC: NC Governor Signs New Bills on Alcohol Sales, Sexual Assault and Domestic Violence

North Carolina Governor Roy Cooper signed 11 new bills into law on Thursday. These bills would address issues related to domestic violence, sexual assault and the sale of alcohol.

The signed bills were among more than three dozen the General Assembly had sent to Cooper in the last two days of its business session.

One of the measures signed states that medical practices, clinics or hospitals cannot charge victims of sexual assault. Their insurance companies for forensic examinations also cannot be charged. Thus, the bill increases the maximum amounts that the fund will pay to hospitals, clinics and medical offices to undertake the examinations.

Another signed bill allows consumers of independent bars in North Carolina to have a drink whenever they want. They don’t need to be a paying member of the establishment to get a drink.

Under the new rules, which fall under a broader liquor law approved by the House and Senate, private bars will now be recognized in state law as bars that primarily sell liquor and don’t even serve ready meals.

Other steps and measures signed on Thursday would also refine rules for “entertainment permits in common areas” and “social neighborhoods” that were recently created. Customers of these establishments can bring their drinks to common areas or to the street and consume them. Another measure allows judges to temporarily extend domestic violence protection orders in the event that a hearing to renew the order is postponed after the current order expires.

Cooper has, depending on the bill, either Sunday night or Monday night to act on the remaining measures that are on his desk. These measures also include proposals for adjustments from the legislature to the state budget. A bill, without his signature, will become law if he does not sign it or veto it within the time allowed.

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