NC Legislative Updates
By Cady Thomas
Meeting with NCDOT
On April 29, Greg Dean and I met with Ronnie Keeter, Beau Memory, Chris Peoples, and Lamar Sylvester to discuss the use of the Full Depth Reclamation process in North Carolina and general overall funding concerns of NCDOT. It was a very positive meeting and we look forward to continuing to work with these leaders to do training programs on the process.
Bills and Legislation
Legislation has been introduced by Representative David Willis to bring a program like the SC program that is working so well to educate students on workforce jobs. The bill appropriates $5 million in nonrecurring funds to implement the mobile statewide workforce development pilot program.
The bill substitute transfers the sales tax revenues from car rentals from the General Fund to the Highway Fund. This was a recommendation from the NC First Commission. The bill was heard and passed by the Senate Finance committee.
This legislation was introduced this week and would appropriate $1 million to establish and run a pilot program through the State Board of Community Colleges at several community colleges to provide free tuition to the community colleges if the students meet various criteria.
Numbers as of April 29:
967,521 total cases
1,137 currently hospitalized
4.5% percentage of positive tests each day
40% of adult population fully vaccinated
Governor Cooper signed Executive Order 209 this week putting in place some COVID restrictions until June 1st. He also stated he will be lifting all of the state’s covid related restrictions except the mask mandate as of June 1st. The most notable changes in the Executive Order were the increased gathering limits:
100% of fire capacity for museums, personal care businesses, retail businesses, and the outdoor spaces of restaurants, amusement parks, fitness and physical activity facilities, and pools.
75% of fire capacity for the indoor spaces of restaurants, amusement parks, fitness and physical activity facilities, and pools.
50% of fire capacity for the indoor areas of movie theaters and entertainment facilities, the indoor and outdoor areas of bars, meeting spaces, conference centers, and reception venues, and other indoor and outdoor venues and arenas.
The Committee Substitute for SB 172 was introduced and passed by the Senate Appropriations/Base Budget Committee April 29. This bill begins to appropriate funds sent to NC from Congress in the American Recovery Act. The bill also extends deadlines for some disaster grants from June 2021 to June 2024.
Other Important Items
This week, the new apportionment numbers for Congressional seats were released. Every 10 years the US Census is taken to determine distribution of Congressional seats. NC was one of 5 states to gain seats. Now the NC General Assembly will undertake the process of drawing maps for 14 instead of 13 Congressional seats.
Monday, April 26, Governor Cooper addressed the entire North Carolina General Assembly in his annual State of the State Address. He highlighted the announcement of Apple, Inc.’s new headquarters in the Research Triangle Park, called for a state budget to be enacted, and noted the need for more body-camera data in police activity.
Governor Cooper’s nominee, Dionne Delli-Gatti, to lead the NC Department of Environmental Quality had her hearing before the Senate Agriculture, Energy and Environment Committee. During the hearing, a lot of questions were asked about permitting applications, the timeline for approvals, and her overall approach to permitting. If confirmed, Delli-Gatti will be the first female to lead NCDEQ.