Budget negotiators from both chambers worked behind closed doors this week seeking to resolve differences on the budget bill. A conference committee report that includes the budget agreement between the two chambers could be on the floor of both chambers next week. Legislators also considered a number of other bills this week.
Storm Securitization & Electric Ratemaking (S559)
A bill which would allow electric utilities to finance certain storm recovery costs and authorize the Utilities Commission to use an alternative rate setting mechanism, passed the House Finance Committee this week by a 16-12 vote. In addition to the current rate case mechanism used to set electric rates, the bill would authorize the Commission to use multiyear rate plans and banding of authorized returns to set rates. The bill, which earlier passed the Senate, will next be heard in the House Energy and Public Utilities Committee.
Solar Panel and Wind Facility Decommissioning (H329)
A bill that facilities the use of electric vehicle chargers was amended this week in a Senate Committee to add provisions directing the Environmental Management Commission and Department of Environmental Quality to develop a regulatory program governing solar panel and wind facility decommissing by 2022. An earlier version of another bill (S568) would have required such facilities to have end-of-life plans and required facility owners and operators to provide financial assurances to handle such costs. Those provisions are not in H329.
Hemp Regulation (S315)
The 2019 Farm Bill passed the Senate this week and has been sent to the House. Among other things, the bill includes provisions on the regulation of hemp.
Alcohol at college sports events (H389)
A bill that would permit boards of trustees at University of North Carolina schools to approve beer and wine sales at athletic facilities has passed the General Assembly and is headed to the Governor. Bill proponents noted that a number of schools in other states already permit such sales and the bill would allow UNC campuses to control it. The bill does not change State laws prohibiting sales to underage purchasers.
For more information, contact a member of the Brooks Pierce Government Affairs Team, linked below.