Jun 23, 2017
NCGA Week in Review
As the House and Senate near adjournment, both chambers are working hard to
wrap up their work for the long session. A budget deal was released earlier
in the week before being passed by both chambers, it is now on its way to
the Governor, who has suggested he will veto the bill. Additionally,
several major policy proposals were vetted in committees and on the House
and Senate floor this week. It is likely that the legislature will conclude
their business within the coming weeks. The Senate has indicated that most
policy committees have been shut down, with the exception of Senate Rules
and Finance, and Speaker Tim Moore (R-Cleveland) has said he is hoping to
adjourn by the 4th of July.
SB 257: Appropriations Act of 2017
passed its final hurdle before being sent to the Governor this week. After
a negotiated budget deal was released on Monday night, the agreement was
passed by both chambers; the Senate voted 39-11 on Wednesday, while the
House’s final vote was 77-38 on Thursday. Gov. Cooper publicly opposed the
proposal this week, particularly criticizing cuts to his office and the
budget for the Attorney General, and many expect him to issue his fifth
veto. Once the bill has been sent to the Governor, he has ten days to
either sign or veto the budget, and if a veto is issued, the bill will
require approval from three-fifths of present legislators to be passed into
law. SB 257 passed with a veto proof majority in both chambers, with
support from nine Democrats, four in the Senate and five in the House. A
budget bill has only been vetoed twice in state history, in 2011 and 2012
by Gov. Beverly Perdue; in both instances the veto was overridden.
For an in-depth review of the budget deal, follow this
Charter School Changes
This week, a proposed committee substitute (PCS) was introduced in the
Senate Committee on Education that would make a number of changes to state
laws regarding charter schools.
HB 800: Various Changes to Charter School Laws, which is sponsored by Reps. John Bradford (R-Mecklenburg), Jason Saine
(R-Lincoln), Scott Stone (R-Mecklenburg) and Holly Grange (R-New Hanover),
Allow education or charter management organizations to employ school
teachers. Current law provides that a charter school’s board is responsible
for contracting employees.
Expedite the timeline for the State Board of Education provide a decision
on charter school fast-track replication applications within 120 days of
Grant priority enrollment to students who were enrolled in a different
charter school in the state in the prior year.
Modify laws regarding NC Virtual Public School (NCVPS) to repeal a
requirement that all e-learning opportunities be consolidated under NCVPS.
Direct the Office of Charter Schools to assist charter schools that wish
to participate in the NC Pre-K program.
After receiving approval from two Senate committees this week, the bill is
now eligible to be heard on the Senate floor.
HB 156: Medicaid PHP Licensure/ Food Svcs State Bldgs, which was amended by Sen. Ralph Hise (R-Mitchell) in the Senate Health
Care committee on Thursday, would create a Prepaid Health Plan (PHP)
Licensure Act, governing the Department of Insurance’s licensure of PHPs as
part of Medicaid transformation. The bill would require a PHP to be
licensed by the Department of Insurance and sets a number of requirements
for those licenses, including instating an application fee not to exceed
$2,000 and annual license fees not to exceed $5,000, and allowing the
Commissioner of Insurance to take certain actions if the PHP is in a
hazardous financial condition. Additionally, HB 156 allows the Department
of Health and Human Services to operate or contract for the sale of food at
Department of Administration and Department of Insurance properties. The
net proceeds of those food sales would be used to support programs that
enable the blind and visually impaired through the Division of Services for
the Blind. The bill was given a favorable report and has been sent to the
Senate Finance Committee.
HB 277: Naturopathic Study, which was amended by Sen. Joyce Krawiec (R-Forsyth) in the Senate Health
Care committee on Thursday, would create a study on the practice of
naturopathic medicine in NC. The bill directs a workgroup to study approved
naturopathic medicine programs, the scope of practice for naturopathic
doctors, and whether the practice should constitute the practice of
medicine under state law. The bill now heads to the Senate Committee on
SB 628: Various Changes to Revenue Laws
, sponsored by Sens. Jerry Tillman (R-Randolph), Andrew Brock (R-Davie),
and Tommy Tucker (R-Union), would make a number of technical and conforming
changes to revenue laws including:
Clarify that petroleum pipeline companies apportion income for
corporate and franchise tax based on the number of barrel miles
transported in this state, which codifies existing practice.
Modifies a corporate income tax deduction for interest paid or accrued
Clarify sales and use taxes on repairs, maintenance and installation
services (RMI), and increases the percentage of RMI services that may
be taxes as part of a capital improvement from 10% of the contract
price to 25%.
Allows the Secretary of Revenue to reduce a sales tax assessment
involving the failure to properly collect sales and use tax on vacation
rental linens by 90%.
Provides a sales tax exemption from RMI services for aircrafts with a
gross take-off weight of more than 2,000 pounds, currently, aircrafts
between 9,000 and 15,000 pounds are exempt from the tax.
The bill has been referred to the House Finance Committee.
Sponsored by Sens. Rick Gunn (R-Alamance), Dan Blue (D-Wake), and Kathy
SB 155: ABC Omnibus Legislation
would make various changes to state alcohol laws. The bill would allow
counties and cities to pass ordinance to allow for retail and restaurant
alcohol sales before noon on Sunday. The legislation reduces the
restriction on the number of bottles that can be purchased by an individual
after touring a distillery from one to five. The bill clarifies state law
to allow for the sale of crowlers, which are 32 ounce cans sealed in a
taproom or restaurant, and creates a permitting process for distillery
tasting events on and off-site. Also, it would also create a permitting
process to auction high-end wine and spirits, and authorize home brewers to
share their products at exhibitions, fairs, and competitions. The proposed
committee substitute to SB 155, which received a favorable report from the
House Alcoholic Beverage Control Committee on Thursday, is a combination of
several other bills related to state alcohol laws: HB 500: ABC Omnibus
Legislation, SB 155: Economic Job Growth for NC Distilleries, and SB 604:
Homemade Alcoholic Beverage Tasting Permit. The bill was referred to the
House Finance Committee.
Reps. Scott Stone (R-Mecklenburg), Jason Saine (R-Lincoln), John Bradford
(R-Mecklenburg), and John Torbett (R-Gaston), have sponsored legislation
aimed at streamlining the permitting process at the state and local level.
HB 794: NC Permitting Efficiency Act of 2017
would create across the board requirements for counties and cities to issue
site construction and land use permits. Also, the bill gives certain
municipalities the authority permits related to State maintained roads
within the municipality’s jurisdiction and extraterritorial jurisdiction.
The bill passed the House on Thursday, 96-15.
SB 100: Aerial Adventure Financial Responsibility, sponsored by Sens. Wesley Meredith (R-Cumberland), Michael Lee (R-New
Hanover), and Joel Ford (D-Mecklenburg), would require zip line and
obstacle course operators to have at least $2,000,000 in aggregate
liability insurance against the liability for injured persons or property.
The bill would also instruct the Commissioner of Insurance to enforce the
policy, and adopt rules of enforcement. Challenge or zip line courses on
private property, not open for public use, or owned by the State would not
be required to maintain liability insurance. A PCS to the bill was adopted
on Tuesday by the House Committee on Insurance, which makes some clarifying
and technical changes. The bill has been sent to the House Committee on
Sponsored by Reps. Stephen Ross (R-Alamance), Pat Hurley (R-Randolph),
Jamie Boles (R-Moore), and John Torbett (R-Gaston),
HB 617: Clarify Sale of Antique & Specialty Vehicles
would update the requirements for automobile dealers to sell certain
vehicles. Initially the bill focused on existing dealerships holding
special events to sell antique and collector’s vehicles, but a PCS
introduced in the Senate Committee on Commerce and Insurance on Wednesday
would allow certain electric car manufacturers to operate dealerships
within the state. Current law prohibits motor vehicle manufacturers from
directly operating a vehicle dealership, but the PCS would create a carve
out and allow a manufacturer to operate up to six dealerships within the
state so long as the manufacturer only produces electric cars and has never
had an affiliation with another franchised dealership. The bill has not
been voted out of the committee yet, if it receives a vote, it has a final
committee stop in Senate Rules before heading to the Senate floor for a