NC Legislative Update
By Cady Thomas
Legislative Session Schedule
The NCGA has adjourned as of Friday, December 10 until December 30. We are hearing rumors they will not adjourn completely and will come back every 3 weeks for a 1 day session. This is because the NCGA leadership does not have the votes to call themselves back into session if needed. Thus, only Governor Cooper could call them back into session.
Bills and Legislation
NC Department of Transportation Agency Bill (HB 165)
This is the annual “agency bill” to make clean up changes to the statutes which regulate NCDOT’s activity. Some of the changes this bill makes are as follows:
Modifies the agreement cap on certain public private partnerships;
Modifies the fiscal-year look back period for STI formula variance;
Modifies the Department of Transportation (DOT) small project bidding authority;
Requires all insurers to submit all motor vehicle liability policy notifications to the Division of Motor Vehicles (DMV) electronically;
Requires DMV to disqualify persons from operating a commercial motor vehicle for certain convictions of severe forms of trafficking to comply with federal law; and
Authorizes commercial driver training schools to administer Level 2 provisional license road tests.
With the enactment of the state budget this year, many changes were made to corporate and personal income taxes. The NC Department of Revenue has put out a notice on these changes. This notice explains all the changes and provides instructions on who to file amended 2020 tax returns. Please note, the budget did allow companies that received a PPP loan to deduct the business expenses on which they spent those loans.
Numbers as of December 13, 2021:
1,575,222 total cases
1,550 currently hospitalized
8.6% percentage of positive tests each day
69% of adult population fully vaccinated
Unfortunately, cases are rising in NC and last week the state saw the most cases since we started to subside from the Delta Variant outbreak.
Other Important Items
Last week, the NC Supreme Court (NCSC) delayed the primaries for all candidates for NC House, NC Senate, US Congress and US Senate from March 8 to May 17. The case will now be heard in Wake County Superior Court between January 3-5 to determine whether or not the maps have to be redrawn. No matter who wins, the losing party will appeal to the NCSC.
There has been a lot of discussion about the “anonymous ruling” made by the NCSC. Learn more about that here.
Prior to the delay, 1,400 candidates had filed for office. These candidates do not need to refile during the next filing period (yet to be determined) or they can change their filing if new maps are drawn.
Governor Cooper has been elected to lead the Democratic Governors Association in 2022. This has fueled speculation about his future since he is term-limited and cannot run for Governor again in 2024. While Governor Cooper has publicly stated he believes President Biden will run again in 2024, leading the DGA gives Governor Cooper a national political stage.
Now that the majority of the policy bills have been acted on by the NCGA, two business groups have released their legislative rankings.
NC FreeEnterprise Foundation (NCFREE), is the premier research organization in the state seeking to provide non-partisan analysis of the political landscape and its impact on North Carolina’s business environment, released their legislative business rankings.
The NC Chamber has also released their ranking of legislators based on the elected officials’ votes on various legislative initiatives.