Short session begins next week on Wednesday, April 24.  As noted previously, we do not anticipate a “long” short session given it is an election year and members prefer to be in their districts in advance of the November election, as opposed to Raleigh.    

We will be updating the team regularly during session, so stay tuned.  And as always, never hesitate to reach out to us with questions. Susan (919) 618-3713 or Tom (919) 280-9184. And if you are in Raleigh and want to stop by, call or text!  We would love to have you. 

Revenues

There was a $3 billion surplus in revenues 2022-2023 but we do not expect a repeat of that windfall. Based on data shared by the State Controller’s office last week, the state has collected $187 million less in revenues during the first eight months of this fiscal year as compared to the same period in the previous fiscal year.  The budget is still in the black and these figures are not cause for alarm. It is just an indication that the reduction in the personal income tax rate over the last few years (the largest source of state revenue) has predictably impacted revenues.  

As with any short session, we expect the Legislature to look at revenues and take up any “tweaks” that may be necessary in the state’s budget.

Fujifilm Expansion 

Last week saw the announcement by Fujifilm Disynth Biotechnologies, a maker of items for other pharmaceutical companies, on its plan to add almost 700 more jobs as part of a $1 billion- plus expansion in the Triangle.   Once the expansion is complete, the facility is expected to be one of the largest biopharmaceutical manufacturing facilities in North America. 

Corporate Relocations

North Carolina is considered one of the best states for business. Another interesting data point was published this week in Axios which noted corporate relocations to the state have slowed. This is not considered North Carolina-specific, but an indication that interest rates and inflation across the country are impacting moves and expansions. According to the Kenan Institute in Chapel Hill, “[c]ompanies clearly invest less during periods of higher interest rates.”  Still, “employers interested in North Carolina routinely point to factors such as climate, cost of living, airports, [and] and tax-friendly policies and those factors haven’t changed.”

North Carolina’s Carbon Plan (and the cost of your electricity)

Cement production is an energy-intensive industry and electricity is undoubtedly a high cost of doing business. North Carolina’s carbon plan requires transition from some fossil fuels and the General Assembly has its watchful eye on what that may mean for business as far as costs. 

Of note, the Joint Legislative Committee on Energy Policy, chaired by Senator Paul Newton, convened this month. The agenda included presentations focused on “least cost” electricity generation and reliability as required by NC law. In between these presentations, Senator Newton made several comments that indicate he has some ideas regarding the timing and elements of NC’s Carbon Plan. 

Senator Newton emphasized that the Carbon Plan should address “least cost” and reliability through generation technology that can be available within a reasonable time (small modular reactors) and not just by continuing to rely on the addition of solar and gas (and possibly wind). This should come as no surprise as Senator Newton’s legislation from last session had nuclear included in the definition of clean energy.

We are watching this closely and will keep you updated. 

Upcoming Fundraisers

A reminder about two important fundraisers next week. 

Coming to Raleigh (or attending legislative functions in your company’s geographic reach) underscores to lawmakers that you are interested and watching what is happening in Raleigh.  Your presence at a fundraiser supports the work that we do for you at the General Assembly. 

Please let us know if you decide to attend – we can help with the RSVP process, make sure you receive proper recognition and make strategic introductions to certain legislators.

That’s all for now.  Please let us know of any questions or comments.

Susan and Tom

Fetzer Strategic Partners

 

Sited Sources

https://hickoryrecord.com/opinion/column/nc-revenues-are-down-this-year-raleigh-writer-says/article_d297095e-f8cc-11ee-b5a8-8ba004a13f65.html

https://www.axios.com/local/charlotte/2024/04/14/corporate-relocations-and-expansions-slow-in-north-carolina