Governor Cooper Signs Bills into Law One bill extends protections for National Guard Members, another strengthens Lumbee Tribe

Raleigh

Today Governor Roy Cooper signed two bills into law, SB 420, the North Carolina Service members Civil Relief Act and SB 218, Clarify State Recognition – Lumbee Indians. Both were passed by the North Carolina General Assembly and sent to the governor in the last week for his signature.

RIGHTS AND PROTECTIONS FOR NATIONAL GUARD SERVICE MEMBERS

At Joint Forces Headquarters today, Governor Cooper was joined by members of the North Carolina National Guard and some of the bill’s legislative sponsors as he signed the bill into law.

“The members of our National Guard and Reserve need to be able to focus on their mission, not worry about financial or legal issues that arise back at home because of their public service. This law ensures that all service members living in North Carolina receive the legal protections they deserve when duty calls,” said Governor Cooper.

The new law helps service members while on duty. For example, it allows members on long-term active duty the ability to end contracts or leases without penalty, and to take leave from work without using any of their vacation time.

The law extends the rights and protections of federal Service members under the Civil Relief Act to members of the North Carolina National Guard (NCNG) on active duty responding to natural disasters and to members of the National Guard of other states serving on state active duty who reside in North Carolina.

RECOGNITION TO STRENGTHEN THE LUMBEE TRIBE

Governor Cooper traveled to Robeson County where he was welcomed by the tribe’s government leaders to their Tribal Housing Complex for a signing ceremony. The new law, SB 218, is another step by the State of North Carolina to strengthen the Lumbee Tribe.

“Today, we recognize the Lumbee Tribe in ways that government has neglected in the past. But there is still more to do, and I will continue to support the tribe’s work to gain the federal recognition it deserves,” said Governor Cooper.

The new law recognizes the tribal government and broadens the resources the tribe can pursue with that status. Additionally, it allows the Lumbee Tribe rights to the land and natural resources and establishes the North Carolina Lumbee Trust Fund.

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