New State Laws Take Effect Jan. 1st

Several laws passed by the NC General Assembly in 2017 take effect on Monday, January 1st.

One of the more talked-about laws is a requirement that doctors can only provide prescriptions for 5 days worth of opioids for pain during a patients initial visit.  Afterwards, doctors can refill prescriptions at their own discretion. The STOP Act (Strengthen Opioid Misuse Act) does not impact those with chronic long term pain or those in nursing homes.

The STOP Act also requires physician assistants and nurse practitioners to personally consult with their supervising physicians when prescribing certain types of opioids for long term use.

House Bill 21 requires drivers ed teachers to instruct students on proper procedures during law enforcement traffic stops.

A Senate bill will take effect Jan. 1st requiring a criminal background check for all applicants seeking a pharmacist license in North Carolina.

The DMV will now be required upon request to designate on drivers licenses a person is deaf or hard of hearing.

The Electoral Freedom Act of 2017 also becomes law on New Year’s Day. The law reduces the number of signatures required for the formation of a new political party in NC and the number of signatures needs for unaffiliated candidates to have their names placed on ballots.

A new law will require the NC Secretary of State to compile information on the number of Veteran-owned small businesses in the state and submit an annual report to lawmakers on the numbers.

Minor changes are being made to clarify state building codes, employment laws, and motor vehicle dealer laws.