The legislature is officially back in the swing of things as of January 30. All committees have been appointed, are beginning to meet, and bills are being filed. To look through this session’s committee assignments, click here to head to the NCGA website.
Committee hearings are light, with mostly the rules committees meeting to finalize the session’s guiding principles. As the session picks up, PENC lobbyists will report on committee activity and any bills to keep an eye on.
With the session now in full swing, PENC lobbyists are hard at work advocating on many issues. Primary issues of focus are: interior design bill, 3rd party inspectors, infrastructure needs, and regulatory reform, among others. Lobbyists constantly keep an eye out for upcoming issues and bills, and approach everything with the PENC mission in mind: To protect the public health, safety and well-being of North Carolinians.
The Interior Design bill is something that has been on the radar since 2017. PENC is currently participating in stakeholder discussions on the issue. ASID (American Society of Interior Designers) plans to introduce the issue in a new bill again this year.
The 3rd party inspector issue is something Rep. Hardister (Greensboro) plans to prioritize this session. The bill would allow third-party inspectors to give approvals on construction projects, which Rep. Hardister argues would keep projects on schedule: he also emphasizes training and licensing requirements.
PENC is participating in a coalition discussion about public school infrastructure funding needs. In late December, Speaker Moore announced his support of a public school bond. As currently discussed, the $1.9 billion public education bond bill would provide $1.3 billion for K-12 capital construction needs, an additional $300 million for UNC institutions, and $300 million for community college facility needs. Senate Republicans have proposed an alternative plan to Speaker Moore’s. This proposal would use money from the State Capital Infrastructure Fund. It could result in a little more than $2 billion each for K-12 schools, UNC and state community colleges, and state agencies over nine years.
We’ll continue to report on issues being tracked in these newsletters but please contact Laurie Onorio if you are interested in participating in an action group to more directly engage in assessing issues for PENC to engage, prioritization and positions, or to simply provide your expertise to the lobbying team and lawmakers. Laurie Onorio firstname.lastname@example.org.