House Bill 91/HB91 passes in the North Carolina Senate on Wednesday

(Nick Stevens)

RALEIGH, N.C. — After passing the education and rules committees, House Bill 91 passed a full vote of the Senate on Wednesday and passed with a 28-14 margin.

HB 91 was authored by a group of Republican senators and many Democrats have raised concerns about the bill, despite sharing some concerns about high school sports in the state.

Wednesday’s vote was mostly along party lines. Sen. Kirk deViere (D-Cumberland) was the only Democrat to vote in favor of the bill, though seven Democrats were absent from the session. All Republicans voted in favor of the bill, with the exception of Sen. Ted Alexander (R-Cleveland) who was absent.

The bill will go to the House of Representatives where it will have to go through the committee process, starting in the education committee. The House could decide to offer amendments and send back to the Senate, but if it passes the House as is, it will go to Gov. Roy Cooper, who would have to decide whether or not to sign the bill.

Should Cooper veto the bill, some Democrats would have to support a veto override for the bill to become law. To override a veto, three-fifths of the members present at the time of the vote most favor the override.

Within the HB91 Bill:
The NCHSAA/North Carolina High School Athletic Association would be allowed to charge reasonable fees for participating, but the annual fees to schools would be reduced by 20% when the total fund balance of the NCHSAA reaches 250% of the total expenses from the previous fiscal year. The NCHSAA would also be required to retain no more than 33% of net profits from any state tournament game.

Additionally, the legislation would prohibit the NCHSAA from soliciting grant money and sponsorships outside of state tournament games, as well as from providing grants to schools, awarding scholarships to student-athletes where the funds are not donor-directed, and designating the use of specific or preferred vendors.

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