NC Legislative Update
by Cady Thomas
The NC General Assembly has not been very active since breaking for the July 4th holiday. Many legislators and NCGA staff were attending out of state legislative conferences which have now concluded for the summer. Legislators will return to town today with active sessions and committee meetings beginning this week and running at least until Labor Day.
While the NC legislative session does not have a set timeframe, we do expect the NCGA to go in and out of session through the end of the calendar year.
Bills and Legislation
The House will roll out their budget later this week, more than a month after the fiscal year’s end. Passage will come as early as next week unless they stay through the weekend. NC is one of two states without a budget this year. Michigan is the other. Once the House passes their budget, it will go back to the Senate who will not concur and this will start the budget conference process. Once complete, each body will take another vote and send it to Governor Cooper.
Cooper has publicly stated that he expects to be part of the conference process so they can get to a budget he will sign. NC has not passed a budget since 2018. We have been operating off of the 2018 budget with minor adjustments since July 1, 2019.
Of specific importance to CRMCA we expect to see a provision that was also included in the Senate’s budget to fund the NC Be Pro Be Proud program.
Numbers as of July 11:
1,048,076 total cases
1,168 currently hospitalized
9.5% percentage of positive tests each day
57% of adult population fully vaccinated
With the number of positive cases quadrupling since July 1, NCDHHS is asking North Carolinians to again consider wearing masks in public places and encouraging people to get vaccinated. Additionally, many local governments are now requiring masks to be worn again.
Other Important Items
The US Census will send final state data on August 14th. From there, the legislature will begin working on redistricting. We expect a vote on final maps in late-September or early-October.
Federal Infrastructure Package
An announcement was made overnight that an agreement has been reached on the framework for the $1.2 Trillion infrastructure package which the Senate hopes to pass before they adjourn for the August recess. The spending will take place over 8 years and much of that money will follow directly to the state. However, it is not yet known how much will come to NC. The largest portion of the money will be spent on transportation funding for roads, bridges, public transit, rail, airports, ports, ferry systems and other projects.
A group of NC Mayors are urging passage of this package stressing the needs of their communities for transportation infrastructure as well as broadband.