SB 55 (Continuing Education For General Contractors) Clears Key House Committee

SB 55 (Continuing Education for General Contractors) cleared a key hurdle on Tuesday, as the bill passed the House Regulatory Reform Committee. The legislation is sponsored by Senators Rick Gunn (R-Alamance), Paul Newton (R-Cabarrus) and Don Davis (D-Greene). The bill would require at least one qualifier of a building, residential or unclassified licensee to obtain 8 hours of instruction annually as a requirement for license renewal. Starting in 2021, all 8 hours can be satisfied by taking approved courses online. After a brief explanation of the bill from Senator Rick Gunn, the bill passed unanimously after a motion from Representative Graig Meyer (D-Orange).

Sponsors of the House companion bill to SB 55, Representatives Larry Potts (R-Davidson) and Mark Brody (R-Union), were in attendance to show support for the legislation. Representative Brody also serves as one of the Chairs of the House Regulatory Reform Committee. The bill will now head to the House Finance Committee and is expected to be heard in the coming weeks.

In other business on Tuesday, the House officially rejected the Senate’s budget proposal by failing to concur on HB 966 (2019 Appropriations Act). The Speaker of the House and President Pro Tempore of the Senate will now appoint a conference committee to work out differences within the two spending proposals. Of particular interest to the home building industry is the appropriation to the Workforce Housing Loan Program, administered by the North Carolina Housing Finance Agency. The House budget included $20 million while the Senate budgeted $10 million in their plan.

Conferees are expected to meet over the coming weeks to resolve any spending differences before sending the plan to the Governor.

Members of the North Carolina General Assembly held a rare session in the old State Capitol Building on Thursday to commemorate the 75th anniversary of D-Day. Members of both the House and Senate joined together to honor the bravery and sacrifice of the men that gave so much for their country. Several WWII veterans were in attendance for this special event.

On Tuesday afternoon, NCHBA’s Legislative Team traveled to Washington, DC to visit with North Carolina’s congressional delegation. The meetings were part of NAHB’s 2019 Legislative Conference. Nearly 70 members from across North Carolina also traveled to the nation’s capital to speak with lawmakers about federal issues currently impacting home building in North Carolina. Some of the issues discussed included the skilled labor shortage, tariffs on construction materials, a long-term solution to flood insurance and low-income housing tax credits.

Senator Richard Burr and Senator Thom Tillis met with NCHBA members on the steps of the U.S. Capitol Building on Wednesday during NAHB’s 2019 Legislative Conference.

The visits were very successful and NCHBA members did an outstanding job expressing their concerns about complex issues with the North Carolina congressional delegation.

Finally, it is our honor to name Representative Dennis Riddell of Alamance County as our “Legislator of the Week!” Representative Riddell has been a steadfast supporter of the home building industry. Over the past several sessions, he has been a primary sponsor of many of our top legislative priorities, including Building Code Regulatory Reform bills in 2015, 2017, 2018. He is also a primary sponsor of this session’s HB 675 (2019 Building Code Regulatory Reform). We thank Representative Riddell for his continued support of housing affordability and the American Dream of home ownership.

Legislator of the Week

Representative Dennis Riddell (R-Alamance)

Representative Riddell is a strong supporter of North Carolina’s home building industry. He is a primary sponsor of HB 675 (2019 Building Code Regulatory Reform). We thank Representative Riddell for his leadership in helping NCHBA keep the dream of home ownership attainable for North Carolina families.