HB 77: DOT 2020-2021 FY Budget/Governance
  • Modifies the General Assembly’s appropriations to the Department for fiscal year 2019-2021.
  • Directs the Department to create a five-year revenue forecast that will be used to develop cash flow estimates included in the biennial budgets, develop a Strategic Transportation Improvement Program, and for the Department of the State Treasurer to compute transportation debt capacity.
  • Allows the State Treasurer to issue $700M in Build NC Bonds to be used for currently existing projects.
  • Extends the date by which DOT must spend CARES Act funds, should federal guidance change.
  • Provides $1.5M to DMV to fund their headquarters move and make technology upgrades.
  • HB 77 increases the membership size of the Board of Transportation to 20 members. The Governor would appoint 14 members to the board, three would be recommended by the President Pro Tem and three by the Speaker of the House. Currently, the Governor appoints all Board members. The bill also outlines the powers and duties of the Board to clarify that their focus should be on the solvency of the Highway Fund and Highway Trust Fund.
  • Establishes additional reporting requirements for the Department, creates a definition for a Spend Plan, and requires the State Auditor to conduct an annual performance audit of the Department.
  • Passed the Senate in a 41-0 vote and the House in a 99-17 vote. The Governor allowed the bill to become law without his signature on 7/6/2020.
Here are some key appropriation changes that were added to the bill on the Senate floor as they were negotiating with the Governor.
  • Modifies the following appropriations. Reduces the amount appropriated for maintenance in DOT’s 2020-21 Current Operations Highway Fund schedule from $70,777,925 to $65,715,093. Further reduces the amount appropriated for aviation in DOT’s 2020-21 Current Operations Highway Fund schedule from $13,745,222 to $8,682,390.
  • Reduces from $112,221,003 to $107,158,171 the amount appropriated from the Highway Fund that must be used for General Maintenance Reserve and Contract Resurfacing. Achieves this outcome by reducing the non-recurring appropriation for Contract Resurfacing from $28,055,251 to $22,992,419, with a revised net appropriation of $558,674,899 (was $563,737,731).
  • Further reduces from $181,921,003 to $176,858,171 designated appropriation reductions to DOT from the Highway Fund. In particular, the reduction of $8,878,022 in nonrecurring funds to Commercial Airport Funds is lowered to $3,815,190, with a revised net appropriation of $71,184,810 (was $66,121,978).
  • Modifies the act’s GARVEE Bond provisions as follows. Directs DOT to continue to obligate federal funds in accordance with the Master Trust Indenture (MTI), pursuant to (i) the memorandum of agreement (MOA) reached between DOT and the Federal Highway Administration and (ii) the MTI between the State and the Master Trustee named in the MTI that secures all outstanding GARVEE Bonds. Further directs DOT, except as prohibited by the MTI or MOA, to use other legally available federal funds to fund and maintain a GARVEE/Federal Repayment Reserve Fund equal to the immediately ensuing payment of only interest, or both principal and interest, on all outstanding GARVEE Bonds. Requires DOT to use federal funds only for payment of debt service on GARVEE Bonds. Retains definition of currently existing project as a project that was in the process of design or construction as of June 1, 2020.
  • Modifies the proposed changes GS 136-44.2E(c) to require the Secretary of Transportation to access and use funds in the Emergency Reserve in a manner that ensures the funds are eligible for federal reimbursement (previously required the Secretary to ensure that Emergency Reserve funds were used in a manner that would not jeopardize federal reimbursements for disaster-related expenses).
  • Allocates $5,062,832 to Wilmington International from Commercial Airport Funds.
Here’s a couple newspaper articles that you may find helpful