House Education – Universities
The Committee met on Tuesday, June 16, to take up one bill. S 478, In-State Tuition for Certain Vet/Fed Programs, makes certain non-resident veterans and other individuals entitled to federal education benefits under the Montgomery GI Bill Active Duty Education Program or the Post-9/11 Educational Assistance Program eligible for in-state tuition by waiving the 12 month residency requirement. S 478 received a favorable report in Committee and was approved on the House floor.
House Commerce Committee
The Committee met Wednesday, June 17, and approved the only bill on the agenda. H 482, Employee Fair Classification Act, focuses on the proper classification between employees and independent contractors. It would create a department of five employees in the Department of Revenue to enforce the current laws that distinguish between employees and independent contractors.
House Public Utilities
The Committee met on Wednesday, June 17, to take up one bill. S 88, Pole Attachment Disputes, moves pole attachment compensation disputes to the Utilities Commission from the Business Court. S 88 received a favorable report in Committee and was placed on the calendar for June 22.
House Finance Committee
The Committee met on Tuesday and Thursday of this week. On Tuesday, June 16, the Committee approved three bills. H 168, Exempt Builders’ Inventory, would exempt the value of any improvements to residential real property held for sale by a builder. A builder is a person who is engaged in the business of buying property, making improvements to the property and reselling the property. Each builder would be eligible to exempt improvements for three years. H 679, UNC Self-Liquidating Projects, would authorize the financing and construction of numerous capital improvement projects by The University of North Carolina. The projects would be financed through revenue bonds and special obligation bonds, not appropriations from the General Fund, with the exception of an infrastructure project at NCSU. NCSU is requesting $77 million in General Fund support, which has been included in the House budget. S 140, Lake Santeetlah Occupancy Tax Authorization, would authorize the Town of Lake Santeetlah to levy a room occupancy tax of up to three percent, the proceeds of which would be remitted to a Tourism Development Authority. The Authority would be required to use at least two-thirds of the proceeds to promote travel and tourism and the remainder for tourist-related expenditures.
On Thursday, June 18, the Committee met and approved five bills. H 556, Achieving A Better Life Experience Act, would authorize the establishment of the Achieving a Better Life Experience (ABLE) Trust Fund, administered by the ABLE Board of Trustees, to assist and encourage the contribution of private funds to accounts from which specified expenses may be paid for individuals with disabilities. H 714, Behavior Analyst Licensure, would establish a licensure process for behavior analysts. H 874, Cities/Availability Charge/Improved Property, would authorize cities that operate water and wastewater systems as a public enterprise to require payment of a periodic availability charge if improved property qualifies for the issuance of a building permit and the city has installed water or sewer lines directly available to the property. S 88, Pole Attachment Disputes, would move pole attachment compensation disputes to the Utilities Commission from the Business Court. S 284, Infrastructure Assessments/Extend Sunset, would extend the sunset provision on the authority granted to counties and cities to use special assessments to address critical infrastructure needs for five years, from July 1, 2015, until July 1, 2020.
Senate Appropriations Committee
On Monday, June 15, all of the Senate Appropriations Subcommittees met and unveiled the individual subcommittee budget reports for the public. On Tuesday, the Senate Appropriations Committee debated the proposed committee substitute to H 97, 2015 Appropriations Act, and several amendments to the bill. The bill received a favorable report and it was re-referred to the Senate Finance Committee and the Senate Pensions & Retirement and Aging Committee.