2019 Legislative Long Session Gets Underway
The members of the 2019 General Assembly reconvened in Raleigh last Wednesday to kick-off the legislative “long session.” The long session is the first of a biannual legislative process that allows members to introduce legislation without restriction. Over the next several months, it is anticipated that more than a thousand bills will be introduced by 170 members of both the House of Representatives and the Senate. There is no time restraint on the length of a legislative session. The last long session in 2017 lingered on throughout most of that year. There are several dynamics that make adjournment predictions difficult, and this year any prediction is uncertain since the GOP no longer holds a veto proof “supermajority” in either chamber.
House and Senate leaders announced committee assignments last week and appointed chairs to lead them. While there will be some additions and deletions, the majority of the committee rosters are set. This action opens the door for legislation to be filed and to begin moving over the next several weeks. Several bills have already been introduced and referred to committees in both chambers.
NCHBA’s government affairs team will continue to work with legislators on behalf of our members in an effort to ease the regulatory burden on home builders across North Carolina. The last several sessions have produced extraordinary results for the home building industry, saving builders millions of dollars in taxes and regulations. With regulations touching nearly every aspect of land development and home construction, NCHBA must continue to scale back on unnecessary barriers that prevent the industry from reaching its full market potential.
Like previous sessions, NCHBA will again have a major pro-active agenda. NCHBA’s legislative team spent much of last Wednesday and Thursday lining up the primary sponsors of a top association priority—continuing education for general contractors. Our NCHBA Board of Directors overwhelmingly voted last February to pursue this legislation which will enhance the professionalism of the industry. On top of providing valuable instruction to general contractors, NCHBA will ensure that the continuing education program meets the following objectives:
- The annual hours of CE can be obtained in 1 day (8 Hours)
- It will be cost-effective
- It will be geographically accessible throughout North Carolina
Finally, in addition to our pro-active agenda, another important jobs for your legislative team over the next several months will be to monitor the introduction of legislation with an emphasis on bills that may have adverse consequences on the housing industry. A large crop of newly elected freshman will undoubtedly bring unexpected ideas to Raleigh concerning business issues which may, or may not, be favorable to our industry.
As the session continues, stay connected with NCHBA through these NCHBA Legislative Reports for the latest information about what’s happening at the General Assembly.