Compiled by Fetzer Strategic Partners

Short Session

What we hope will truly be a short session… is in full swing this week. The State Controller’s Office notified the General Assembly that there is a $1B surplus in revenues to spend over the next biennium.  We expect the surplus to go to further fund the school voucher program (Opportunity Scholarships), and possible teacher and state employee raises. 

Bill Alerts

Building Code Bill

A sweeping, 70-plus page bill dropped this week that is supported by the NC Homebuilders Association.  Here is a link to the bill, entitled 2024 Building Code Regulatory Reform, and a link to the summary on the General Assembly website.   We encourage you to look (beginning on page 4 of the bill) at the following provisions to alert us to any concerns:

 

  • Local Government Curb and Gutter Design
  • Prohibit Supplemental Remote Residential Parking Facilities within Subdivision Developments
  • Municipal Pedestrian Facility Requirements within ETJ for Subdivision Streets Designated as Public
  • Technical Correction on Private Driveway Design Standards
  • Performance Guarantees for Subdivisions

On page 54, you will see proposed changes to the Building Code Council and Residential Code Council. 

On page 66, you will see major, proposed changes in Moore County ETJ Authority (which we expect will undergo changes).  

Bill: 

https://webservices.ncleg.gov/ViewDocSiteFile/87232

Summary: 

https://webservices.ncleg.gov/ViewDocSiteFile/87231

Transportation Bill

The Senate Transportation Committee released a proposed, committee substitute or PCS (amending a previously filed bill) for HB 198 in committee today entitled “DOT Legislative Changes.”  The PCS was heard “for discussion only” and will be voted on at the Committee’s next meeting. We are just received the PCS and are attaching a copy of the bill and summary and encourage you to look at both.   

First, please note the extension for the Build NC Bond Act of 2018 in Section 9.  The section extends the validity of the act through December 31, 2031, while Section 10 repeals the cash balance threshold issuance criteria.  We discussed this in our last governmental affairs call.

Please also pay particular attention to a pilot program on “Progressive-Design-Build projects in Section 2 & 3; change in authority between Department of Administration and Department of Transportation on certain contracts in Section 6; authority of DOT to specify brand names or specific manufacturers for construction materials in certain circumstances in Section 7; turnpike and toll provisions in Section 12 &13; new (shorter) window to post financial statement reports (including projected revenues); Highway Trust Fund appropriations in Section 22.

Summary:

https://webservices.ncleg.gov/ViewDocSiteFile/87240

Bill:

https://webservices.ncleg.gov/ViewDocSiteFile/87208

Senate Committee: Confirmation of Joey R. Hopkins, Secretary of DOT

The Senate Transportation Committee also took up the confirmation of interim DOT Secretary Joey R. Hopkins today.  Hopkins had previously been grilled by members about DOT financial accountability.  Hopkins previously assured lawmakers DOT was working with a consultant on better financial accountability but did not rule out having to come back to the General Assembly for more funding.  Approved unanimously by the Committee, we expect his confirmation in Senate Rules and the Senate Floor. 

EPA and Coal Ash

This week the EPA announced rules to increase oversight and regulation of coal ash across the country. North Carolina’s Coal Ash Management Act of 2014, was the first state-initiated measure to oversee clean up and management of coal ash and is considered model legislation. The EPA’s latest rules are in response to facilities outside of NC not complying with initial federal measures. The EPA released an “enforcement alert” in 2023 based on “numerous facility assessments across the country that demonstrated noncompliance with federal coal ash rules. 

Please call us with any questions or comments at any time.

Susan Vick

(919) 618-3713

 

Tom Fetzer

(919) 280-9184