Legislation

  • Legacy of Late Lawmaker is Honored

    May 21, 2015 • Legislation

    Raleigh, N.C.— Governor Pat McCrory signed into law HB 158, the Jim Fulghum Teen Skin Cancer Prevention Act today. The governor signed the legislation at a ceremony attended by the late state representative’s family, legislators and leaders from North Carolina’s medical community. 

     

    “Dr. Fulghum used his medical expertise to improve the lives of his fellow citizens,” Governor McCrory said. “He was taken from us much too soon, but he gave us a legacy that will save lives for generations to come.” 

     

    The new law prohibits operators from allowing anyone under the age of 18 to use tanning beds. The measure was named after Dr. Fulghum who sponsored similar legislation during the previous legislative session. The retired physician, who represented Wake County, died in July.

     

    Dr. Fulghum served less than a full term, but was able to sponsor legislation that expanded heart defect screening for newborn babies. He also sponsored the legislation that requires Epi-pens to be available in North Carolina public schools. He also helped author a law that provides more workplace protection to health workers who work with chemotherapeutic agents. 

     

    The governor also signed H.B. 71 County Commissioner Oath Filing; S.B. 116 Handicapped Parking Windshield Placard; S.B. 123, Uniform Fraudulent Transfer Act; H.B. 79 Contempt for 50C/Scope of Stay for Appeals; H.B. 102 Utility Vehicles/Move Over Changes; H.B. 195 Allow Substitution for Biosimilars; H.B. 437 Create Home Exemptions/Home Renal Procedures; H.B. 434 Handicap Placard/Medical Recertification; H.B. 878 Expand Trustees of the School of Math and Science; S.B. 90 Required Number of Brake Lights and H.B. 659 Controlled Substance/Update Precursor List today.

     

  • April 30, 2015 • Legislation

    Raleigh, N.C. - Governor Pat McCrory took action on Senate Bill 372 today, which extends the tax credit for renewable energy projects in the state.

    “I am pleased to sign Senate Bill 372 to bring new renewable energy projects online in North Carolina,” said Governor McCrory. “Renewable energy is an important part of an all-of-the-above energy policy that produces clean power, creates jobs and generates revenue in communities that need it most.”

     

    Senate Bill 372 extends the tax credit for renewable energy projects in advanced stages of development for one year. Originally set to expire January 1, 2016, the delayed sunset moves the tax credit expiration to January 1, 2017.  Under the new law, projects that have begun and meet certain requirements by January 1, 2016 will be eligible for a tax credit for an extended year until January 1, 2017. To qualify for the credit, projects that will have less than 65 megawatts of capacity, must be 80 percent complete by January 1, 2016. For projects that will have 65 megawatts of capacity or more, the project must be 50 percent complete by January 1, 2016.  Click here to read a copy of the legislation.

     

    Senate Bill 372 was sponsored by Senators Bob Rucho, Jerry Tillman and Bill Rabon and carried in the House by Representative Bill Brawley. 

  • April 27, 2015 • Legislation

    Raleigh, NC – Governor Pat McCrory issued the following statement on allowing House Bill 364 to become law without his signature:

     

    “On March 16, 2015, a three-judge panel ruled that a provision in the Coal Ash Management Act compelling me to issue an executive order was unconstitutional.  This bill removes this provision from the Act, and also removes similar provisions in other statutes.  It properly leaves the decision to issue an executive order in my discretion.  This bill does not, however, settle the issue as to whether the Legislature could pass future bills that again compel me to issue an executive order.  This issue requires a final resolution from the North Carolina Supreme Court.

     

    “Another part of the bill removes the ability of legislators to serve on two commissions and a board.  In place of legislators, it allows legislative appointees to serve.  While these entities are mostly advisory in nature, they do perform some executive functions.  I believe that it is unconstitutional to allow legislative appointees to serve on boards and commissions that perform executive functions, and the three-judge panel agreed with respect to the Coal Ash Commission and two other commissions.  This issue also requires a final resolution from the Supreme Court. 

     

    “For these reasons, I will allow this bill to become law without my signature.”  

  • Signs bill to increase safety for our hard-working and valuable corrections officers

    April 11, 2015 • Legislation, • Public Safety

    Raleigh, N.C. - Governor McCrory took action on two pieces of legislation, signing Senate Bill 78, which increases protections for corrections officers and House Bill 41, which makes technical corrections to revenue laws. Both pieces of legislation were passed in a bi-partisan and nearly unanimous fashion.

    “I am pleased to sign Senate Bill 78 and give our hard-working and valuable corrections officers additional protections from the dangers they face day-in and day-out,” said Governor McCrory. “We must do all that we can to protect those serving in very difficult jobs and this legislation is another step in the right direction.”

    The governor will also let Senate Bill 14 become law on Sunday, April, 12 without his signature. Governor McCrory is in favor of most of Senate Bill 14, but Section 8 provides funding for staff positions for the Coal Ash Commission, despite the three judge panel declaring the Commission to be an unconstitutional entity on March 16, 2015. The Governor will not endorse a bill that provides funding for a Commission that is legally barred from taking any official action.

  • April 2, 2015 • Legislation

    Raleigh, N.C. - Governor Pat McCrory signed legislation today that is expected to lower electric rates for consumers in eastern North Carolina and help attract new jobs to the region. The governor signed the legislation (SB 305) at the Wilson Operations Center. 

     

    The new law will allow Duke Energy Progress to purchase generation assets from the 32 cities and towns that make up the North Carolina Eastern Municipal Power Agency (NCEMPA). The $1.2 billion purchase will significantly lower the agency’s debt load from $1.9 billion to approximately $480 million.

     

    “This purchase provides a private sector, market-driven solution to a major economic development obstacle we faced in eastern North Carolina,” Governor McCrory said. “The lower electric rates this purchase should produce will save consumers money and make the region more attractive to job creators who want to take advantage of the region’s talented workforce and special quality of life.”

     

    The new law also allows NCEMPA members to issue bonds to refinance approximately $480 million of debt after this purchase is complete. It also allows NCEMPA power agencies to enter into purchase power agreements to replace the electricity previously provided by the generation assets they are selling.

     

    The proposed purchase has the approval of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, the North Carolina Utilities Commission and the Nuclear Regulatory Commission.

     

    The 32 cities and towns that make up the NCEMPA must also vote to approve the sale.

     

  • March 31, 2015 • Legislation

    Raleigh, N.C. - Governor Pat McCrory signed legislation that will immediately reduce North Carolina's gas tax as part of a finance plan that will stabilize revenue needed for the state’s transportation projects.  

     

    The bill reduces the state tax motorists pay today on a gallon of gasoline from 37.5 cents to 36 cents effective April 1, 2015. The gas tax rate will be further reduced to 35 cents on January 1, 2016 and drop to 34 cents on July 1, 2016.

     

    “This bill will allow us to build roads, strengthen bridges and fix potholes so people can get to their jobs, go to school, see their doctors and drive to the mountains or the beach," Governor McCrory said. “We now have a gas tax that is based on North Carolina's transportation needs instead of the unpredictability of the world oil market." 

     

    Previously, the state’s gas tax was based on the fluctuating international wholesale price of crude oil.  

     

    After January 1, 2017, the gas tax will be calculated on a formula with a 34 cents per gallon base price plus calculations drawn from the Consumer Price Index and the state’s population change.    

     

    Stabilizing transportation revenue was one of the goals Governor McCrory set in his State of the State Address.

     

    The new gas tax system will require the North Carolina Department of Transportation to reduce its budget by $13.5 million. The elimination of 40 positions will be among the cuts made to meet that budget reduction. 

  • March 16, 2015 • Legislation

    Raleigh, NC - Governor Pat McCrory signed legislation this evening that amends several areas of environmental law. The legislation, House Bill 157, was introduced by Rep. Pat McElraft and Rep. Rick Catlin and passed the General Assembly today.

     

    "Among some needed technical changes and clarifications, this legislation will provide added environmental protections for our state and expedite the removal of coal ash from ash ponds adjacent to our waterways," said Governor McCrory. “Addressing the long-ignored problem of coal ash has been a focus of my administration and this bill improves upon the work the General Assembly and my team began last summer. When the Coal Ash Management Act became law, North Carolina became the national leader in coal ash regulation.”

     

    House Bill 157:

    • Increases environmental protections by clarifying the definitions of reuse facilities versus solid waste facilities;
    • Makes technical corrections and clarifications to the Coal Ash Management Act of 2014 to ensure environmental protection and expedite the removal of ash;
    • Clarifies that the Environmental Management Commission has the authority to make additional rules to address air pollution from energy exploration and production activities if necessary;

    Makes other minor corrections and clarifications to environmental laws.

  • March 17, 2015 • Legislation

    Raleigh, NC - Governor Pat McCrory and Cultural Resources Secretary Susan Kluttz recently continued their tour throughout North Carolina to highlight the successful efforts to revitalize urban downtowns, main streets and rural communities through the historic tax credit program. As the tour continues across the state, support for restoring this  important preservation initiative is gaining momentum.

     

    The governor and Secretary Kluttz have visited a combined total of nearly 30 communities across North Carolina, including Edenton, Rocky Mount, Wilmington, Mebane, Mount Airy, Salisbury and Concord. Secretary Kluttz will continue this tour in the coming weeks.

     

    In case you missed it, see the most recent highlights of the tour below:

     

    WGHP Fox 8

    March 16, 2015

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gI05I8jo1CU

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    WSFX Fox 26

    March 13, 2015

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Rm4_2jGpt1c

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    WXII NBC 12

    March 11, 2015

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BhdRudd8g8g

     

  • March 5, 2015 • Education, • Ethics and Accountability, • Healthcare, • Jobs and the Economy, • Legislation, • Public Safety, • Transportation and Infrastructure

    Raleigh, N.C. -  Governor Pat McCrory’s 2015-2017 biennium budget continues his focus on job creation, education and infrastructure. It also increases help and protection for those that cannot help themselves while maintaining fiscal discipline and increasing government efficiency.  

     

    There are no tax increases in the governor’s budget. 

     

    “This budget builds on our hard-earned successes and lays the foundation for a bright future for all North Carolina families,” Governor McCrory said. “This budget recommits us to the basic values that make our state great. When we unleash our potential in education, transportation, energy and technology, and commit to greater government efficiency and affordability, North Carolina will be second to none.”

      

    Job Creation

    Separate from the budget, the governor is supporting legislative measures that will allocate $45 million for NC Competes and $20 million for the Site Infrastructure Development Fund, a fund designed to attract major manufacturing projects, such as an auto production plant.

     

    Governor McCrory’s budget restores and reforms the Historic Preservation Tax Credit to continue to revitalize main streets across North Carolina while ensuring that the credits are used wisely and where they can have the most impact.

     

    The Innovation to Jobs initiative was created to convert more university research dollars into products and services that are patented and introduced into the marketplace. To support this initiative, the governor’s budget invests $15 million in each year of the biennium in the Venture Multiplier Fund. This capital will be invested alongside private sector dollars in early stage commercial ventures. It also provides $2.5 million in recurring money for the Rallying Investors and Skilled Entrepreneurs, a program that will develop and leverage existing entrepreneurial management talent and recruit world-class investors and skilled entrepreneurs to the state.

     

    Governor McCrory’s budget creates the University Innovation Commercialization Investment program, funded at $7.5 million during the next two budget years and recommends $5 million for the One North Carolina Small Business Program to provide early-stage funding for small, high-growth and high-tech businesses across the state. 

     

    It also appropriates $10 million in each year of the biennium to encourage the production of long-term, sustainable film projects and to further develop the film-making industry within the state.

     

    Education 

    North Carolina taxpayers have historically made a tremendous financial commitment to education, and this budget continues that legacy. More than $12 billion of General Fund monies will be spent on K-12 education in each year of the biennium. It allocates $235 million more in K-12 funding than the 2014-2015 budget—a 2.8 percent increase in spending.

     

    As promised, $111.4 million in each year of the biennium will be spent for teacher salaries to increase teacher base pay to $35,000 a year. This allocation also funds increases for teachers eligible to move to the next tier on the salary schedule. 

     

    To support enrollment growth, this budget provides for the hiring of more than 1,400 new teachers over the biennium as well as provides $128 million to maintain teaching assistant positions over the same time period. 

     

    The budget also rewards high-performing teachers by appropriating $15 million over the biennium to implement teacher pay for performance plans. 

     

    More than $70 million over the biennium will be spent to buy textbooks, instructional supplies and equipment. 

     

    Additionally, North Carolina’s Pre-K program will expand to accommodate 26,800 at-risk four-year-olds.

      

    The governor accelerates the talent pipeline by funding community college classes year-round, including in the summer, just like North Carolina businesses. The budget also invests $5 million for community colleges to purchase current, up-to-date equipment and technology used to prepare students for STEM careers.

     

    Critical Infrastructure 

    The budget commits nearly $4.8 billion to lay the foundation for Governor McCrory’s 25-year transportation vision, which focuses on connecting small towns and economic centers to simplify citizens’ commutes for work, school and recreation. This includes: an increase of $135 million for critical infrastructure investments; $51 million for road preservation and improvements; $36 million for capital repairs and renovations under the Capital Improvements plan and $10 million to ease congestion in rural and small urban areas.

     

    As the governor noted in his State of the State address, he will request a transportation bond of $1.2 to $1.4 billion for quicker construction of projects in the 25-year vision plan. 

     

    He will also request a $1.2 to $1.4 billion general obligation bond to revitalize blighted state buildings that can be saved and build new, workable and efficient facilities for the National Guard, community colleges and other agencies that will help create economic development opportunities for their communities.

     

    Help and Protect Those in Need

    To support the well-being of our most vulnerable citizens, Governor McCrory’s budget commits more than $10.8 billion to the Department of Health and Human Services over the biennium, or more than 24 percent of the General Fund annually. 

     

    Included in this allocation is an estimated need for $287 million in additional Medicaid funding in the first year of the biennium and $460.6 million in year two, taking into consideration forecasted changes in enrollment, anticipated costs per recipient, and utilization of services, as well as federal matching funds. Additionally, it supports the Healthy NC reform plan which puts patients first and controls costs for the taxpayers, while incentivizing health care providers to coordinate care. 

     

    This budget also prudently allocates $175 million over the biennium to the Medicaid Risk Reserve to provide a buffer against financial uncertainty in one of our biggest cost drivers.

     

    The budget provides nearly $82 million over the biennium in new funding for mental health and substance abuse services and increases funding for foster care, adoption support and the collection of child support payments.

     

    The budget also provides funds to modernize and replace equipment for the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner.

     

    It also continues the state’s substantial commitment to the North Carolina Families Accessing Services through Technology (NC FAST) and NCTracks information technology platforms, which are replacing legacy information technology systems to efficiently serve our citizens and pay health care providers. 

     

    This budget fully funds the HOME match program with more than $1.5 million in each fiscal year. These dollars leverage federal matching funds of $20 million and enable the state to collaborate with local governments and nonprofits to serve 340 additional households, create over 400 jobs and generate an additional $1.7 million in state and local revenue.  Additionally, $1 million each year is committed to the Housing Trust Fund to help alleviate the shortage of safe, affordable housing for low- and moderate-income citizens.

     

    The governor’s budget also recognizes the dedication of law enforcement officers who protect us daily and corrections officers who confront the most violent people in our state every day.

     

    Governor McCrory’s budget includes $21 million in funding to help compensate and retain our corrections officers and their supervisors and funds the full five percent step increase for eligible State Troopers in each year of the biennium.

     

    There is additional funding to improve crime lab operations and reduce criminal case backlogs as well as funding for the Highway Patrol, State Bureau of Investigation, and Alcohol Law Enforcement to replace aging law enforcement vehicles to improve safety and reduce maintenance costs. 

     

    Find Efficiencies and Streamline Operations 

    The North Carolina Government Efficiency and Reform (NCGEAR) initiative will save more than $14 million in year one and more than $57 million in year two of the biennium. NCGEAR savings over 10 years are conservatively estimated at more than $615 million in today’s dollars.

     

    To continue customer service improvements at the Division of Motor Vehicles, $30 million is budgeted for technology and equipment modernization. 

     

    The budget carries out government operations efficiencies called for by the Governor in his State of the State address. Future workers’ compensation costs will be reduced through consolidated reporting and an overall improvement in case management to protect against fraud and abuse. 

     

    Attractions such as the North Carolina Zoo, state aquariums, museums and state parks will be transferred from the Department of Environment and Natural Resources to the Department of Cultural Resources, which manages attractions as part of its mission. Advocacy groups will be moved from the Department of Administration to the Governor’s Office.

     

    To strengthen the Veteran Affairs and the Office of the Military Advisor, the budget proposes the creation of the Department of Military and Veterans Affairs.

     

    This budget streamlines state information technology operations, making them more accountable and coordinated by creating a Department of Information Technology. 

     

    “The members of my administration and I are honored to submit this budget to the General Assembly on behalf of the people of this great state,” Governor McCrory said. 

     

    Click here for a copy of the Governor's Recommended Budget. Click here for a copy of the Budget PowerPoint.

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