NC Legislative Update – Connie Wilson, CRMCA NC Lobbyist
North Carolina’s legislative short session begins on April 28th. Until then, legislators are periodically returning to Raleigh for interim study committees to continue to consider legislation for the short session. Of importance to the Ready Mixed employers is the Unemployment Insurance Study Commission. At last months meeting the Division of Employment reported that there was over $3,000,000 in the Unemployment Insurance Trust Fund and the fund will grow several hundred million this year. Please let us know if your company has any issues or problems with unemployment insurance because the study commission is a good vehicle to share concerns.
North Carolina’s Transportation Secretary is retiring at the end of this month. Secretary Jim Trogdon has announced plans to return to the private sector. Eric Boyette, currently the secretary of Department of Information Technology, will replace Trogdon at the helm of the N.C. Department of Transportation.
In the wake of NCDOT’s funding crisis, the Department says its finances have stabilized since last spring. This News & Observer article explains how the department’s suspended pre-construction engineering impacted about 900 projects statewide, forcing many engineering firms with NCDOT contracts to find other work or make cutbacks of their own. According to Bobby Lewis, NCDOT’s chief operating officer, the NCDOT has been able to resume restart engineering work on about 220 projects.
CRMCA’s lobbyist attended the H.F. Lee Plant beneficiation unit public hearing on Tuesday, February 11. With only one speaker, there was no controversy at the meeting.
CRMCA will hold its annual Concrete Day in Raleigh on May 21st, when members will have the chance to meet with legislators and key staff to educate them on industry opportunities and concerns.
SC Legislative Update – Ben Homeyer, CRMCA SC Lobbyist
Wanted to give you a quick update after the first four weeks. The House and Senate have been going full out since day one. We have started to have hearings on the Business License tax, tort reform which will help keep the trial bar from going after the “deep pocket” defendant, business personal property tax reform, helping with budgetary items with the DMV that will help with our tax collections and reforms, fines for driving in the left lanes for too long (with exemptions) workforce reforms with state tech and a ton of other issues. The Senate has been concentrating on education reform and most likely will for the next week or so. This week the house committees were given word to hold up bills from going to the house calendar as they are expecting the Santee Cooper report to be filed this week. Once it does they will have thirty days to come up with a plan to either sell or re-organize the utility. For folks in the territory it could cause major shifts in rates. The House Ways and Means Committee is scheduled to begin debate in full committee the week of Feb 17th. They are working with $1.8 billion in surplus. The Governor has asked that roughly 400 million be returned to the tax payers in his state of the state. The House and Senate have not made those decisions at this time. I fully expect the pace to continue right up until April 10th which is the crossover date for legislation for both bodies.