Dec 8, 2017
NCGA Week in Review
A number of legislative committees and executive boards met this week to
discuss issues including: innovations in education, changing technology and
infrastructure needs in transportation and judicial redistricting.
Executive Branch Boards Meet
Board of Education
The State Board of Education held their monthly meeting this Wednesday and
Thursday to review a number of policy changes and updates. During the
two-day meeting, the Board:
Voted to update state textbook policies to expand the definition of
“technology-based programs” to expand the state’s emphasis on digital
materials, such as subscription and web based materials.
Approved applications for four new Cooperative Innovative High Schools.
Approved a report on Innovative School District.
To view all documents from the meeting, follow this
Board of Transportation
The NC Board of Transportation held meetings this Wednesday and Thursday to
hear presentations and updates, including:
Updates on NC REAL ID.
from Chief Financial Officer David Tyeryar.
on program delivery from the NC Department of Transportation (NCDOT).
To view all documents from the meeting, click here.
Legislative Oversight Committees Meet
The Joint Legislative Education Oversight Committee met on Tuesday.
First, Interim Vice President of University & P-12 Partnerships Sean
Bulson provided the committee with an
on laboratory schools, a partnership between the UNC general administration
and public elementary through high schools across the state, established by
the legislature in 2016. Presently, two schools are in operation: East
Carolina University Laboratory School in Greenville, which serves students
in grades two through four, and Catamount School in Jackson County, which
is operated by Western Carolina University and serves students in grades
six through eight. Three additional schools will open next year, and four
the following year.
Then, Teaching Fellows Program Director Sara Ulm
on the new Teaching Fellows Program, which was established by the 2017
budget bill. The program will provide prospective teachers with forgivable
loans beginning in the 2018-19 school year. Ulm informed the committee that
the application for the loan program is now live and noted the education
preparation programs that were selected to work with the program: Elon
University, UNC Charlotte, UNC Chapel Hill, NC State University and
Finally, NC Community College System President Jennifer Haygood
to the committee on the system’s strategic plan. Haygood noted significant
aspects that contributed to how the strategic plan was developed, including
population growth in urban areas, workforce changes and greater demand for
technology in training.
Judicial Redistricting & Reform
On Wednesday, the Senate Select Committee on Judicial Reform and
Redistricting held their second meeting to receive presentations on
judicial selection methods.
First, Senior Counsel for the Brennan Center for Justice Alicia Bannon
to the committee on judicial selection methods across the country. NC is
one of seven states that utilize a partisan election system. The Center
advocated for an appointment system and listed a number of best practice
recommendations for doing so.
Then, professors at the UNC School of Law, Martin Brinkley and John Orth,
to the committee in the history of judicial selection in NC.
To review all documents from Wednesday’s committee, click
Strategic Transportation Planning
On Monday, the House Select Committee on Strategic Transportation Planning
and Long Term Funding Solutions and the Department of Transportation held a
joint transportation technology event, where legislators and the public had
the opportunity to see new technology, including electric and autonomous
vehicles in action. Following the event, the committee heard presentations
on automated and connected vehicles.
First, Transportation Group Director with HNTB Paul Steinman
to the committee on how changing consumer demands and increasingly
high-tech vehicles will change how people utilize transportation. According
to Steinman, transportation is becoming increasingly automated, connected,
shared and electrified.
Then, the committee heard a
from Vice President of Research and Development for Southwest Research
Institute Steven Dellenback on how the military uses automated and
connected vehicles. According to Dellenback, the military faces unique
challenges when utilizing automated vehicles, including rural and unpaved
roads and different technology in the military theater, including lack of
GPS mapping for security.
The committee then received a
on the future of ridesharing in an automated world from Uber Autonomous
Vehicles Head of Policy Justin Erlich. Erlich emphasized how ridesharing
companies like Uber are working to be leaders in transportation technology.
Uber is currently partnering with Volvo to test autonomous vehicles, which
they plan on employing in self-driving fleets.
To view all documents from the committee, follow this
Yesterday, the Joint Legislative Transportation Oversight held their second
meeting of the interim to hear a number of presentations and updates from
staff at NCDOT.
First, Strategic Transportation Investment Program (STIP) manager Van
Argabright addressed the committee with a
of the STIP for 2018 through 2027, which was adopted the State Board of
Transportation in August. The STIP will fund 1,389 total projects,
including 344 non-highway projects.
Then, Director of Facilities Management Sterling Baker
Department’s Condition Overview & Life Cycle Analysis of NCDOT
Ferry Division Assets
report, which was prepared by an independent engineering firm earlier this
recommends retrofitting NCDOT’s 24 ferry ramps, at an average cost of $1.2
million per ramp.
Division of Highways Director of Field Support Greg Perfetti followed with
on NCDOT’s bridge program. Perfetti’s presentation reviewed current bridge
funding models, current bridge conditions and challenges to progress,
including the growing number of bridges needed repair or replacement.
Finally, Engineer with Atkins Engineering, Mark Boggs
a proposed toll project development
to the committee. According to his presentation, NCDOT hopes to put forward
a new vision for examining the use of toll-funded financing options which
Respond to regional tolling initiatives.
Address project acceptance challenges.
Define a process for project development and review.
The proposed policy, which needs to be approved by the Board of
Transportation before going into effect, involves a 4-step project
To review all materials from Thursday’s meeting, follow this
A Look Ahead to Next Week
Next week, the following legislative and executive meetings will be held:
Tuesday, December 12, 2017
8:30 AM Joint Legislative Oversight Committee on Health and Human Services
1:00 PM Joint Legislative Oversight Committee on Agriculture and Natural
and Economic Resources
Wednesday, December 13, 2017
9:00 AM Joint Legislative Oversight Committee on Health and Human Services,
Subcommittee on Aging
10:00 AM Joint Legislative Task Force on Education Finance Reform
1:00 PM Joint Legislative Oversight Committee on Capital Improvements
1:00 PM Environmental Review Commission
2:00 PM House Select Committee on Implementation of Building Code Reform
Thursday, December 14, 2017
9:00 AM Joint Legislative Oversight Committee on Information Technology
9:00 AM Joint Legislative Emergency Management Oversight Committee
10:30 AM Joint Legislative Oversight Committee on Justice and Public
Safety, Subcommittee on ABC Permitting & Enforcement
1:00 PM Joint Legislative Oversight Committee on Justice and Public Safety
2:00 PM Social Services Regional Supervision and Collaboration Working
Friday, December 15, 2017
10:00 AM Joint Legislative Elections Oversight Committee