Legislative Update June 2019

It’s budget season at the NC General Assembly. The House started the process this year, announcing its budget proposal in early May. After passing mostly along party lines, the budget went to the Senate. The Senate passed its version of the bill also primarily along party lines. The budget is currently in its conferencing process, where appointed members from the House and Senate reconcile the two versions of the budget. Once both chambers agree, the budget will be sent to Governor Cooper who will either sign or veto the budget. For more on the budget proposals and differences, here’s a round-up from the News & Observer [newsobserver.com].

The Senate passed its regulatory reform bill this week, sending it to the House for discussion and approval. This report from WRAL News [wral.com] highlights the sections of the bill:
• Cut in half Charlotte Motor Speedway's required match for a state grant to clean up an unlined landfill on its site. The grant, up to $2 million, currently requires a 2-to-1 match from the track. This would make it a 1-to-1 match.
• Tweak state rules for sanitary landfills that have lived past their local approval. Current law allows them to stay open provided the owner "has complied" with the terms of that local approval. The bill changes "has complied" to "is in substantial compliance."
• Double the size of a business that can open without a water fountain, setting the threshold at 3,000 square feet. The bill would also up the threshold a bit on toilets, allowing businesses up to 3,000 square feet to have just one.

• Order all of the state's occupational licensing boards to study how they might increase online options for their continuing education requirements.
• Add aquaculture to the list of things that can be done in flood-prone areas without a permit.
• Require the state Department of Environmental Quality to study funding needs and legal changes that would speed up various reviews for "permits typically required for job creating and real estate development."

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