The Political Beat: What’s happening in the North Carolina legislature

Each week, the Political Beat will look at some of the important, interesting and odd bills being worked on in the North Carolina House and Senate.

Lower BAC

Representatives are reconsidering what it means to drive drunk.

A bill proposed in the North Carolina House would lower the legal blood alcohol concentration level when driving a car or boat.

The measure supported by a half-dozen Republicans would make it against the law to get behind the wheel with a BAC of 0.05 or higher. Currently, the legal limit is less than 0.08

The proposal is off to a House Judiciary Committee where it will receive further consideration.

Congressional term limits

Some state representatives are looking to make national change.

A House joint resolution wants to amend the United States Constitution to impose term limits on members of Congress.

The legislation is sponsored by House Speaker Tim Moore and supported by nearly 30 other Republicans from across the state. It does not specify how many terms an elected officials would have before forfeiting the position.

While the bill sends a message, it is unlikely to have any meaningful impact on national U.S. politics.

State of the State address

The date is set for Gov. Roy Cooper’s annual State of the State address.

State lawmakers are inviting the governor to give his address on March 6.

While largely ceremonial, Cooper cannot give the speech without an official invitation from a combined committee of senators and representatives.

Cleaning up cemeteries

A bipartisan bill in the House would require the Department of Veterans and Military Affairs to step up its maintenance at North Carolina veterans cemeteries.

North Carolina has four veterans cemeteries across the state. They are located in Black Mountain, Jacksonville, Spring Lake and Goldsboro.

The action looks to ensure each location is staffed to keep the cemeteries in a condition that honors the veterans.

That includes installing delayed headstones, fixing damaged grave markers and improving the overall appearance at each site.

North Carolina’s dogwood festival

A bipartisan group of House representatives from across the state are backing Fayetteville Dogwood Festival as North Carolina’s official dogwood festival.

The House bill boasts the event’s annual success, including more than $8 million in economic impact and regular accolades, as reason to make Fayetteville’s festival the official gathering for the state.

Held for more than 40 years, the three or four-day event at the end of April each year honors the native North Carolinian tree. The bloom from the flowering dogwood is the state’s official flower.

Elk capital of NC

A North Carolina county is vying to be the state’s elk capital.

If a bill in the state House were to pass, Haywood County, west of Asheville, would take on the title.

Representatives say the county’s elk population has grown to over 200 and plays a large role in the tourism campaign for the area.

(WATCH BELOW: CMS apart of House Bill that will give districts flexibility on start dates)