NC House approves bill against stealing Venus Flytraps - WECT TV6-WECT.com:News, weather & sports Wilmington, NC

NC House approves bill to strengthen punishment for stealing Venus Flytraps

The state House on Thursday approved a bill making it a felony offense to steal Venus Flytraps in several local counties The state House on Thursday approved a bill making it a felony offense to steal Venus Flytraps in several local counties
RALEIGH, NC (WECT) -

The NC House of Representatives on Thursday approved a bill that would strengthen the punishment for anyone caught stealing Venus Flytraps in New Hanover County. The bill now moves to the state Senate for approval.

Rep. Ted Davis (R-New Hanover) introduced HB1059, which received a favorable report Thursday morning from the House Finance Committee, sending it forward in the process toward possibly becoming state law. The bill had previously cleared a Judiciary Committee. 

Davis said he made changes to his original bill, which makes stealing the Venus Flytrap a Class "H" felony offense punishable by up to 25 months in prison instead of a misdemeanor. The original bill covered only New Hanover County, but Davis added Brunswick, Onslow and Pender counties to the version heard and approved in Committees.

Thieves stole thousands of Venus Flytraps in 2013 from locations in Brunswick and New Hanover counties. The only place in the world where the plants grow naturally is within a 70 mile radius of Wilmington. 

The bill also includes a provision that could allow money collected from the room occupancy tax in the unincorporated area of New Hanover County to be used for "tourism-related expenditures", which could include beach nourishment.  

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