NC & SC Legislative Updates – May 2018

NC Updates:

Short Session will be starting with a bang on Wednesday, May 16th with tens of thousands of teachers forecasted to converge at the legislative building.  The high profile nature of this session has had the budget leaders working hard several weeks before session starts so that the General Assembly can get in and out quickly by June 30th, even with a Governor’s veto.  On everyone’s minds are the November elections and the need to solely focus on them.
The Governor released his budget last week.  Items of interest to our industry include:
  • $30M for NC GROW for free training at community colleges for high demand industries
  • $10 million for NC Job Ready that will help employers provide on-the-job training
  • $2B school construction bond
  • Recommendation for support of Build NC financing for roads
House Select Committee on Strategic Transportation Planning and Long Term Funding Solutions recommended at their April 30th meeting to support legislation called “Build NC” that would establish a financing mechanism using state funds to speed up highway transportation projects.  The amount that could be issued, if approved by the State Treasurer, would be $300M at any one time with a maximum of $3B total.  Projects that would benefit most from this financing option would be regional and district projects which currently have limited funding. The votes appear strong in the House for passage of the bill, but the Senate projection is not as optimistic.  Payment for this financing option will come only from transportation taxes and fees, not the General Fund like the school construction bonds proposed by Governor Cooper.  Both will be a hot topic of conversation for a very short, few week session.
SC Updates:

The General Assembly adjourned “sine die” on Thursday May 10th.  And while they have already announced plans to come back May 23-24 and June 28-29 to take up specific issues the bulk of the work is done for the year.  The conference committee on the budget will be meeting the week of May 14th to finalize the state budget.  If you know your Senator or House member please urge them to keep the $950k Be Pro Be Proud funding in the budget as it will go to help put more workers in the pipeline for the industry.

Over the course of the interim for the General Assembly they will continue to work with agencies on implementation of passed legislation from this session.  Continuing our efforts with DOT on road projects and life cycle costing will be critical as they are going to be in full swing with the gas tax revenue passed last session.  Numerous projects are in the pipeline and hundreds of bridges are expected to built in the coming years.  In addition, the Department of Commerce will keep using their closing fund dollars to attract new business all across South Carolina.  Those large scale projects that they assist with have continued to need ready mix concrete in buildings, roads and other uses so we continue to support their efforts.

Elections will be three weeks away and a large number of folks will be on the ballot.  CRMCA has been supporting candidates who have supported us.  Please get out and vote in the primary June 12 and if you have questions about candidates please let me know.  All constitutional officers and the State House of Representatives are all up for re-elections.

While traditional issues such as the gas tax and construction work did not dominate the General Assembly this year, CRMCA maintained a strong presence at the statehouse.  Everything from mining bills that effect aggregate to the utilities bills which could play a part in getting your ash supplies to how much you pay in utility bills were watched and weighed in on.