Mar 24, 2017
NCGA Week in Review
The pace continues to rapidly increase at the legislature as the House and
Senate successfully overrode Gov. Cooper’s veto of a partisan judicial
elections bill, and the House filed 77 bills this week, with the Senate
filing another 72 bills. The House released its version of a regulatory
reform bill this week that would reduce regulations on businesses,
individuals, and local government, and the Senate filed its tax reform bill
A bill passed the House on Thursday that would remove the helmet
requirement when riding an autocycle that is not fully enclosed.
HB 214: Autocycles/No Helmet Required
, sponsored by Rep. Michael Speciale (R-Craven), passed the House by a vote
of 76-41. The bill defines an autocycle as a three wheeled vehicle that is
similar to a motorcycle, but is operated by a steering wheel. Proponents of
the legislation argue that the vehicle is more similar to a car than a
motorcycle, and wearing a helmet restricts the vision of the driver.
Opponents are concerned about potential safety hazards related to removing
the helmet requirement.
Brian Garlock Act
Sens. Jeff Tarte (R-Mecklenburg), Michael Lee (R-New Hanover), and Deanna
Ballard (R-Watauga) filed
SB 364: Brian Garlock Act
on Thursday. The legislation would outlaw the use of a cell phone or any
other electronic device while driving, unless it is done through a
hands-free device. The crime would be punishable as class 2 misdemeanor and
a $200 fine. The bill is named after a Charlotte teenager who passed away
in a car wreck while using his cell phone in 2008.
Cooper’s Veto Overridden
The General Assembly overrode Gov. Cooper’s veto of
HB 100: Restore Partisan Elections/Sup. & Dist. Court
this week, which will return partisan elections to district and superior
court. Races. The House voted to override Gov. Cooper’s veto on Wednesday
by a vote of 74-44, and the Senate followed suit on Thursday by a vote of
32-15. Superior and district court elections have been non-partisan since
1996 and 2001, respectively.
The House Regulatory Reform Committee met on Wednesday to introduce a
proposed committee substitute to
SB 131: Regulatory Reform Act of 2016-17
. The Senate version passed its chamber by a vote of 38 to 11 last week.
The legislation is a revival of a proposed regulatory reform bill that
passed the House and Senate last session. However, the two chambers failed
to reach a compromise between their deregulation bills before the end of
the short session. The bill eliminates or consolidates various reporting
and permitting requirements in various industries such agriculture,
environmental and natural resources, and state and local government.
Key differences in the House regulatory reform bill:
- Repeals a provision that encourages local boards of education to
administer additional testing
- Removes certain motor vehicles emissions inspections
- Eliminates part of the coastal area management act
- Exempts landscaping material from storm water management requirements
- Removes the licensing requirement from the practice of horshoeing
- Modify stream mitigation requirements for intermittent streams
- Instruct DEQ to study riparian buffer requirements for intermittent
- Amend private drinking water well permitting requirements
- Removes the print requirement for the state agency public records. Public
records requirement can be satisfied by publishing online
Several committee members raised concerns about a new provision in the
House version that would amend the sediment criteria regarding sand in the
cape shoal. The General Assembly has used regulatory reform to reduce
government regulations on businesses, individuals, and local governments,
and has been an ongoing topic at the legislature in previous years.
Reps. Harry Warren (R-Rowan), Donny Lambeth (R-Forsyth), Greg Murphy
(R-Pitt), and David Rogers (R-Rutherford) sponsored legislation that is
aimed at increasing health and safety measures for school sports.
HB 116: Student Safety in Athletics
would require every head coach or athletic director to maintain CPR
certification, and direct local boards of education to create heat stroke
prevention measures. The legislation also mandates the State Board of
Education to create database of major illnesses, injuries and concussions
that transpire during school athletics, which will be maintained by the
Department of Public Instruction.
Companion legislation was filed in the House and Senate this week that
would create a legislative commission to study issues related to college
HB 463/SB 335:Study/Fair Treatment of College Athletes
would establish a commission that would be chaired by the Lieutenant
Governor, and composed of six Representatives and six Senators.
Representation would be proportional to the partisan representation in both
bodies. The commission would study employment and health issues related to
study athletes such as unionization, health insurance, sports and
non-sports injuries, academic opportunities and full-tuition scholarships.
Sens. Dan Bishop (R-Mecklenburg), Warren Daniel (R-Burke), and Jeff Tarte
(R-Mecklenburg) sponsored the Senate version, and Reps. Jeff Collins
(R-Nash), Bert Jones (R-Rockingham), David Rogers (R-Rutherford), and Chris
Millis (R-Pender) sponsored its companion in the House.
Wind Energy Moratorium
House and Senate leaders filed companion bills on Thursday that would place
a temporary moratorium on permits for the creation and construction of wind
energy facilities, commonly known as wind farms.
HB 465/SB331: Military Operations Protection Act of 2017
would also direct the General Assembly to study the impact of wind energy
facilities on military operations. Reps. John Bell (R-Wayne), Jimmy Dixon
(R-Duplin), and George Cleveland (R-Onslow) sponsored the bill in the
House, and Sens. Harry Brown (R-Onslow), Norman Sanderson (R-Pamlico), and
Louis Pate (R-Wayne) sponsored its companion in the Senate. The legislation
is in response to concerns over the interference of wind energy facilities
with military exercises.
Originally reported on last week
after the Senate leadership held a press conference,
SB: 325 Billion Dollar Middle Class Tax Cut
was filed by the Finance chairs, Sens. Jerry Tillman (R-Randolph), Andrew
Brock (R-Davie), and Tommy Tucker (R-Union) on Tuesday. The bill, which
also has the support of 17 Republican co-sponsors, is divided into three
parts: personal income tax changes, business tax changes, and market-based
If passed, effective January 1, 2018, SB 325 would:
- Reduce the personal income tax rate from 5.499% to 5.35%.
- Increase the standard deduction to $20,000 (currently $17,500) if
married, filing jointly; $15,000 (currently $14,000) for head of household;
$10,000 (currently $8,750) for single; and $10,000 (currently $8,750) if
married, filing separately.
- Expand the child deduction for people eligible for the federal child tax
credit. Deduction ranges from $0 to $2,500.
- Reduce the income tax rate for C Corporations from 3% to 2.75% beginning
2018, and to 2.5% in 2019.
- Adopt market-based sourcing for multistate income tax apportionment.
- Create a new general statute on market based sourcing for banks.