One of NCHBA’s top legislative priorities took a huge step forward this week as Representatives Larry Potts (R-Davidson), Mark Brody (R-Union), Julia Howard (R-Davie) and Ashton Clemmons (D-Guilford) introduced HB 162 Continuing Education for General Contractors, (i.e., “CE for GCs”). Larry and Mark are general contractors, Julia is a real estate broker, and Ashton is married to a GC who is a member of the Greensboro BA.
Under the House rules, your legislative team had until 5:00 pm Wednesday to obtain co-sponsors for the bill. We worked feverishly to accomplish that mission and we are delighted to report that we got 83 to join our 4 primary sponsors for a total of 87 of the 120 members of the House. Like the Senate companion bill, SB 55 Continuing Education for General Contractors, which garnered 36 co-sponsors in the 50 member Senate, we were again able to demonstrate strong bi-partisan support for HB 162 including a majority of members in both House caucuses.
Several members of the House (as did several members of the Senate) checked with builders “back home” and we were gratified to learn that those builders responded positively that they supported our legislation. While some did not personally “like” the requirement, they told legislators that passing our bill would be good for the industry.
“We are proud of those members who put the interests of our profession ahead of their personal preferences,” said Mike Carpenter, NCHBA Executive Vice President & General Counsel.
While your legislative team intends to move SB 55 first, it was important to gather this overwhelming show of support to sustain the momentum in both chambers for passage.
Meanwhile, Governor Cooper has nominated Deputy Commissioner Jim Gillen and Representative Ken Goodman (D-Richmond) to serve in “employer” slots on the North Carolina Industrial Commission (IC). The statute provides that three of the six slots are to be filled by representatives of employers and the other three are to be filled by representatives of employees. NCHBA along with the NC Chamber and the NC Retail Merchants led the business community in opposing two previous nominees to the Commission last year and those nominees were not confirmed. We suggested to the Governor’s Office that Representative Goodman would be an excellent nominee and we were very pleased that our suggestion was acted on favorably.
Jim Gillen was the Governor’s choice for the other seat. The business community closely examined his record and we spoke at length with him on two occasions. We are satisfied that he has the background and record to meet the statute.
The House Rules Committee will take up both nominations on Tuesday and NCHBA will be there in support of both nominees.
Once he is confirmed, we will certainly miss Representative Goodman in the General Assembly. He has been both a steadfast supporter of housing as well as a champion of business issues. However, we are certain that he will be an outstanding commissioner on a body whose mission is critical to our industry and the business community in general.
SB 86 Small Business Health Care Act cleared a Senate hurdle on Thursday and will move on to the Senate Health Care Committee. The legislation is the latest step in opening more healthcare options by allowing business associations to provide group health insurance for their members. The bill would allow self-employed workers to participate in multiple employer welfare arrangements (MEWA) that could potentially offer greater savings on healthcare premiums.
This legislation came to light after President Trump signed an executive order in October of 2017 that provides greater flexibility to association-based limited multiple employer-sponsored group health plans. NCHBA is closely tracking this legislation.
Mark your calendars as NCHBA’s Legislative Reception and Legislative Day are just around the corner. May 21st will mark our 2nd Quarter Meeting followed by an always-popular reception honoring members of the General Assembly and Council of the State at the North Carolina Museum of History. NCHBA Legislative Day will be held on May 22nd at the General Assembly. Make sure your voice is heard by lawmakers!
Legislator of the Week
Representative Larry Potts (R-Davidson)
Representative Larry Potts of Lexington is one of the primary sponsors of HB 162 Continuing Education for General Contractors. Larry is a general contractor himself with deep knowledge of the issues affecting our industry. He is an outstanding advocate for home builders in the General Assembly. Thank you Representative Potts!