North Carolina Legislative Report

by Moore & Van Allen PLLC

The General Assembly’s Short Session began on Wednesday, May 14, 2014.  The MVA Public Affairs Legislative Report on North Carolina will be distributed weekly to keep you up to date on the latest legislative issues facing the state.

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Governor's Desk

This week, the Governor signed S 370, Respect for Student Prayer/Religious Activity, H 573, Stormwater Management Fee Uses, H 1060 Military Student Identifier, H 1103, Verification/Jurisdiction in Juvenile Cases, into law. 

On The Floor

This week, the Senate passed H 1060, Military Student Identifier, H 1069, Unemployment Insurance Law Changes, S 815, Ensuring Privacy of Student Records, S 853, Business Court Modernization and H 1031, NC Economic Development Partnership Modifications.

The House passed H 133, Charlotte Airport Commission Clarifications, H 1220, Hope 4 Haley and Friends, and S 38, Amend Environmental Laws 2014.  The House and Senate appointed conferees this week and will begin to meet in the near future to work out the differences between the House passed budget and the Senate passed budget.   

Committee Reports

Senate Agriculture/Environment/Natural Resources Committee

The Committee met twice this week, Monday, June 16, and Tuesday, June 17, to address SB 729, Governor’s Coal Ash Plan. A proposed committee substitute and a couple of amendments were adopted to the base bill.  The bill title also changed to the Coal Ash Management Act of 2014.  The bill would require Duke to close "high-risk" coal ash sites by Aug. 1, 2019. Any rated as intermediate risks would have to be excavated and closed by December 31, 2024.  Those rated low-risk could be capped and left in place but would have to be closed by December 31, 2029.  The bill passed the Committee and was referred to the Senate Appropriations/Base Budget Committee. 

Senate Appropriations Subcommittee meetings

All of the Senate Appropriations Subcommittees met on Tuesday, June 17.  Each Subcommittee reviewed the difference between the House passed budget and the Senate passed budget. 

Senate Commerce Committee

The Committee met on Tuesday, June 17 and approved H 1031, NC Econ. Dev. Partnership Modifications.  The bill establishes the framework for a private, nonprofit entity to take over many activities related to economic development and business recruitment.  In addition, the bill makes modifications to the Board of Science and Technology and creates new Collaboration for Prosperity Zones to provide one-stop locations for interactions with multiple State agencies. The bill has now passed both chambers of the General Assembly and has been presented to the Governor for approval.

Senate Appropriations/Base Budget Committee

The Committee met twice this week.  On Wednesday, June 18, the Committee took up H 1031 NC Economic Development Partnership Modifications and S 729, the Coal Ash Management Act of 2014.  H 1031 would establish the statutory framework that would allow the Department of Commerce to contract with a private, nonprofit entity for business development and recruitment activities. Both bills passed Committee and S 729 was referred to the Senate Finance Committee. 

On Thursday, June 19, the Committee met and reviewed the House and Senate Medicaid budget differences. 

Senate Finance Committee

The Senate Finance Committee met on Thursday, June 19, and approved seven bills including the following three local bills: H 1080, Watha Deannexation; S 731, Southport Occupancy Tax Modification; and S 846, Shallotte Deannexations.  H 346, Governing Bodies/Collect Unpaid Judgments, would allow counties and cities to attach and garnish the compensation paid to a member of the governing body if the county or city has been granted a money judgment against that member and the judgment has not been satisfied.  H 1034, Volunteer Fire and Rescue Finances (PED), would amend laws related to various firefighters’ and rescue squad workers’ relief funds, workers’ compensation, and pension plans.  S 729, Coal Ash Management Act of 2014, would establish a legal framework with respect to the cleanup and management of coal ash ponds throughout the State.  S 742, Adjust the Utility Regulatory Fee, would allow the General Assembly to establish a different utility regulatory fee for the retail services of telecommunications providers that have elected an alternative method of regulation.

House Regulatory Reform Committee

The House Regulatory Reform Committee met on Wednesday, June 18, to take up S 493, 2014 Regulatory Reform Act. The omnibus bill would make numerous changes to State statues.  After making additional changes in Committee, the bill was given a favorable report and sent to the House floor.  S 493 was ultimately re-referred to the House Regulatory Reform Committee for further review. 

House Finance Committee

The House Finance Committee met on Wednesday, June 18, and Thursday, June 19.  On Wednesday, the Committee approved six bills including the following five local bills: H 1033, Special Assessement/Dam Repair/Richmond Co; H 1044 Averasboro Township TDA Changes, H 1114, Elk Park/Deed Transferring Property; H 1211, Mount Gilead Charter Revision & Consolidation; and H 1244, Wilson County Occupancy Tax Increase. In addition, the Committee approved S 493, 2014 Regulatory Reform Act.  The 32-page bill made numerous changes to State statutes.  S 493 was then re-referred to the House Committee on Regulatory Reform.  That Committee made further changes to the bill before approving it.  Once approved by the Committee on Regulatory Reform, the bill was sent to the House floor, but was then sent back to the Committee on Regulatory Reform for further review.

On Thursday, the Committee approved 10 bills, including the following five local bills: H 1059, Venus Flytrap-Taking Penalty/Occup. Tax Use, H 1070, Town of Duck/Eminent Domain; H 1154, Moore Co. Schools Transfer of Property; H 1212, Burlington Charter/Revision and Consolidation; and S 741, Bladen, Columbus, Franklin/Tax Cert.  H 1052, Adjust the Utility Regulatory Fee, would allow the General Assembly to establish a different utility regulatory fee for the retail services of telecommunications providers that have elected an alternative method of regulation.  H 1145, Registration Required for Mopeds, would require that mopeds be registered with the Division of Motor Vehicles.  H 1182, UNC Nonappropriated Capital Projects, would authorize various capital projects in the University system to be paid for by receipts other than State appropriations.  H 1220, Hope 4 Haley and Friends, would create a registry of patients, caregivers, and neurologists for the compassionate use of hemp extract for intractable epileptic disorders.  S 790, Cape Hatteras/Gas Cities/Infrastructure Land, would phase in the sales tax on electricity sold by the Cape Hatteras Electric Membership Corporation and on piped natural gas sold by the eight gas cities over two years, would modify the infrastructure property tax deferral program, and would delay the change in the highway use tax base to include dealer administrative fees.

House Education Committee

The House Education Committee met on Thursday, June 19, to address two bills.  S 815, Ensuring Privacy of Student Records, would require the State Board of Education to make information regarding the student data system available to the public, create rules and plans to ensure privacy and security of individual student data in the system, and restrict the collection certain data in the system. The bill would also require local school boards to provide notice on parental rights  and opt-out opportunities regarding student records and participation in certain surveys.  S 815 received a favorable report in Committee. 

S 812, Maintain State Authority Over Academic Standards, would repeal Common Core and establish a commission to study standards nationwide, including Common Core, and determine a new set of standards for North Carolina.  A committee substitute was adopted that gutted the Senate bill and replaced it with the language already passed by the House in H 1061.  The major difference between the two pieces of legislation is that the Senate gives the new commission the option of looking at Common Core when developing the new set of standards for students.  Once the House gives final approval to S 812, the two chambers will go to conference to iron out their differences.

House Health and Human Services Committee

The House Health and Human Services Committee met on Thursday, June 19, and approved H 1181, North Carolina Medicaid Modernization.  The bill would direct the Department of Health and Human Services to begin a restructuring of the State’s Medicaid program by transitioning the program from a traditional fee-for-service plan to a system of provider-led networks that receive a capitated amount per Medicaid beneficiary and assume risks for cost overruns related to those beneficiaries.  The bill envisions that the implementation to the new system would be initiated by July 1, 2020. 

In the News

WRAL: Commerce privatization bill clears legislature

WRAL: House Medicaid proposal embraces governor's plan

Raleigh News & Observer: Lottery official: House budget writers knew curbs on ads would reduce income

Raleigh News & Observer: NC AG: Make Duke Energy pay for coal ash fix

Charlotte Observer: Legal fight over Charlotte Douglas airport to continue after new bill passed

AP: NC lawmakers, McCrory hone in on budget variances

Charlotte Observer: Proposed law on Duke Energy’s coal ash ponds moves forward

Winston-Salem Journal: Fracking debate arrives in Davie


Mon, June 23, 2014

3:00 PM

Joint Legislative Program Evaluation Oversight Committee

Agenda: NC GEAR purposes, cost, tasks completed, remaining tasks, and calendar of events; update of PED projects.

544 LOB

5:00 PM

Finance (House)

544 LOB

5:00 PM

Government -- CORRECTED (House)

2 Co. Comm./Durham Tech. Bd. (H1120)
Authority to Remove Abandoned Vessels. (H1248)
Bald Head Island/Contract Post Office. (S845)
Infrastructure Reimbursement Agmts. (S848)
Town of McDonald/Terms of Office. (S867)
Town of Proctorville/Terms of Office. (S868)
Town of Boone/Extraterritorial Jurisdiction. (S865)

643 LOB

7:00 PM

Session Convenes (House)


7:00 PM

Session Convenes (Senate)


Tue, June 24, 2014

12:00 PM

State and Local Government (Senate)

1124/1224 LB

12:00 PM

Transportation (House)

Service of Hearing Order/MV Dealer Licensee. (H1097)
Electronic Drivers License Amendment. (H1157)
DPS Study Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance. (H1190)

643 LOB

Wed, June 25, 2014

10:00 AM 

Judiciary Subcommittee A (House)

No Revolving Door Employment. (H1036)
Exempt Time-Shares/Rule Against Perpetuities. (H1253)

1228/1327 LB



DISCLAIMER: Because of the generality of this update, the information provided herein may not be applicable in all situations and should not be acted upon without specific legal advice based on particular situations.

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