by Barry Smith
Action on a proposed whistleblower bill will have to wait a little longer as members of the Senate Rules Committee felt like there was too much unclear about the N.C. Commerce Protection Act of 2013.
The committee on Tuesday reviewed the bill after weeks of work in a subcommittee. Business groups, such as the N.C. Chamber, are backing the bill. Animal rights groups, such as the ASPCA, oppose it.
Sen. Josh Stein, D-Wake, said he didn’t think the proposed new law made it clear that news groups obtaining documents or recordings of supposed wrongdoing at a site would not be held criminally liable. Others also questioned provisions that would not allow for companies to make loans to people filing lawsuits.
Among changes to the whistleblower bill:
— A provision requiring someone to turn over documents and recordings related to wrongdoing at a business or farm to police within 48 hours. The previous version has a 24-hour requirement.
— A provision specifying that the state’s whistleblower protections would still apply.
As time was running out on the committee Tuesday morning, Rules Committee Chairman Tom Apodaca, R-Henderson, said more work was needed. No vote was taken.