According to Leonard Robinson III’s most recent article in Carolina Journal, the House Rules Committee reported favorably on Senate Bill 584, a criminal recodification bill. Robinson reports:

Senate Bill 584, if passed, would require more oversight on criminalization from the General Assembly. The legislation requires all criminal penalties to be approved by the General Assembly while also stripping local governments’ ability to create new crimes. Local governments could still pass ordinances, but violations of them wouldn’t automatically be considered misdemeanors.

Robinson reports that this bill is a follow-up to last session’s House Bill 379 which was passed about a year ago:

The legislation required all agencies, commissions, and boards with the power to create crimes submit a list of all their crimes to legislative working groups. Under this bill, local jurisdictions were also required to submit their ordinances (in which violation is automatically considered a misdemeanor) to the working group. The deadline established for these lists was December 1, 2018.

However, Robinson explains, over six months have passed since the deadline and only 72 of North Carolina’s 100 counties have completed the reporting requirements. Nevertheless, Robinson writes:

Mike Schietzelt, criminal justice fellow at the John Locke Foundation, is optimistic about the progress of the recodification effort. 

“This legislation brings us one step closer to a more clear and concise criminal code here in North Carolina, and the John Locke Foundation is ready to lead the way,” said Schietzelt. 

Read the full story here. Learn more about overcriminalization here.