Activity at the North Carolina General Assembly gained some momentum this week with legislative committees meeting to hear bills, some bills being considered for floor action, and new members becoming familiar with procedures.
UNC Board of Governors Reduces (HB39)
The House on Wednesday voted to reduce the size of the UNC Board of Governors from 32 to 24 members by 2019. While the bill passed with an overwhelming majority, there was an effort by some Democrats to amend it to ensure Board diversity and representation from schools throughout the system. That amendment failed. The bill now goes to the Senate.
Classroom Size (HB13)
HB13 passed both the House Education and Appropriations Committees this week. The bill was introduced to address the concern that past actions reducing K-3 class sizes would reduce PE and arts education availability. It is supported by a number of education advocates.
Savings Reserve (HB7)
The House Appropriations Committee on Thursday approved a bill that aims to strengthen the Savings Reserve (often called the “Rainy Day Fund”). The bill, which was the product of an interim Legislative Research Commission, requires that 15 percent of each year's revenue growth from the prior year be deposited into the Reserve. It would also limit legislators from withdrawing more than 7.5 percent of the previous fiscal year's operating budget, unless both chambers agreed to a higher amount with a two-thirds majority. Representative John Torbett (R-Gaston) had concerns about the Highway Fund not being excluded from the bill given the transportation funding challenges facing North Carolina. He plans to introduce an amendment on the House floor to address this issue.
For more information, please contact the Brooks Pierce Government Affairs Team, linked below.