NC Legislative Session Wrap Up
The legislature ended its short session in break neck speed on June 29th. This quick time frame was met with very creative parliamentary maneuvering and a primary focus of campaigning for the fall elections. Republicans have super majorities in both chambers that they plan on maintaining. In the last week of session the focus was on constitutional amendments which the Republicans are hoping will bring out more voters for the November election. In their adjournment resolution they have scheduled to come back into session after the November election. The resolution does not limit what kind of business the General Assembly may address at that time.
One of the few bipartisan issues this session was the BUILD NC Bond Act (S758) supported by CRMCA which passed the General Assembly and was signed by the Governor. The BUILD NC bond program will add up to $300 million annually in critical transportation funding over the next 10 years, funding additional STI-approved projects already included in NCDOT’s 10-year plan. The bond program will specifically target projects in the Divisional and Regional (not the Statewide) Tiers. BUILD NC will also provide additional long-term financial stability to NCDOT which will allow the transportation construction and engineering industries to expand hiring and retention as well as equipment and materials purchasing.
Other Bills of Interest
S145 DOT/DMV Legislative Request – Passed the General Assembly and was signed by the Governor.
Thanks to the special help of Rep. John Torbett there is now a law that states, “STATIC WEIGHING OF READY-MIXED CONCRETE TRUCKS SECTION 16.5. G.S. 20-118 is amended by adding a new subsection to read: “(l) A vehicle or vehicle combination that hauls unhardened ready-mixed concrete may be weighed with weigh in motion scales, but the vehicle or vehicle combination must be weighed static, allowing the drum to come to a complete stop.”
House Bill 1029 DOT/DMV Legislative Requests – Passed both chambers but no conference committee was assigned due to I-77 provisions that had been added in both chambers that would have set aside between $300M and $620M in highway funds if the toll road contract was terminated by the state.
H374 Regulatory Reform Act of 2018 – Passed both chambers and veto overridden. Section 13(a) of the bill has provision that Caps certain Title V air quality permits
Commercial Vehicle Liability Insurance Surcharge Issue – The North Carolina Rate Bureau reduced from 14.63% to 7.07% the liability premium surcharge. CRMCA joined with the NC Trucking Association in opposing the surcharge level. Our states reinsurance facility has an approximately $100M shortfall that is primarily being blamed on high risk out of state carriers who should not be able to purchase insurance in our state. Although legislation has been passed to stop the abuse, more needs to be done. Ready Mixed members need to check and see if their liability policy is in the reinsurance facility to determine if they will pay the higher amount.
SC Legislative Session Wrap Up
The South Carolina General Assembly concluded what remained of their legislative agenda on June 28th. With only vetoes remaining of the budget and tax conformity, the Legislature will be in recess until Mid-September.
During the last few days the Legislature adopted language and over-rode a Governors veto to set an interim rate on electricity with the SCE&G territories at 3% retroactive to last year. This removed almost all of the increases that were put in place due to the nuclear plant in Fairfield county. SCE&G has been ordered to start providing refunds in August but a lawsuit has been filed to stop the process and to restore the cuts. A court hearing has been set for July 30-31. Also during special session the House and Senate voted to override Governor McMaster’s veto expanding expungement laws for one-time, low-level offenders in order to expand South Carolina’s workforce.
There were several provisos (one year temporary laws) included in the budget related to SCDOT operations and funding allocations. These provisos are currently in effect for the FY 18-19 which began July 1.
- Allows the SCDOT to transfer a portion of the motor fuel user fee increase to satisfy the requirements of the preventative maintenance tax credit. (Proviso 84.15)
- Allows the SCDOT Commission to have emergency meetings without providing 24-hour notice. (Proviso 84.16)
- Allows the SCDOT to use a portion of the motor fuel user fee increase to satisfy the CTC donor bonus. (Proviso 84.17)
- Allows SCDOT to use federal aid road and bridge program funds for the relocation of public water and sewer utilities. (Proviso 84.18)
- $5.2 million to SC Dept of Commerce for closing fund which can bring new business to SC which will hopefully translate in to more concrete needs.
- $9.4 million for the successful ReadySC job training program, which provides customized training for new and expanding business and industry
- $11 million for High Demand Skill Training Equipment to be distributed to all technical colleges
- The Be Pro Be Proud initiative was not funded in the budget. However other avenues are being pursued to make the project a reality.