Building Code Regulatory Reform Passes Two Key Committees
Despite both chambers taking a “Spring Break” around the Easter Holiday, your legislative team continued to work on many of its top priorities with legislators and staff. One of those bills, HB 675 (Building Code Regulatory Reform of 2019) sponsored by Representatives Mark Brody (R-Union), Dennis Riddell (R-Alamance), Jon Hardister (R-Guilford) and Billy Richardson (D-Cumberland), unanimously passed out of the House State and Local Government Committee on Thursday. On Friday it was heard by the House Rules Committee and subsequently passed unanimously. It now heads to the House floor for a vote potentially early this week.
This bill will address a wide range of issues that have hampered builders across the state, including expediting the plan review process and forbidding local governments from requiring minimal square footage of new homes. The bill sponsor has worked closely with local government advocates and other trade associations to ensure that the legislation has been thoroughly vetted and will not have any unintended consequences for builders. For a comprehensive review of the provisions in this legislation, check out previous NCHBA Legislative Reports or the bill summary.
Executive Vice President Mike Carpenter continued his efforts to satisfy concerns over SB 355 (Land-Use Regulatory Changes) sponsored by Senators Dan Bishop (R-Mecklenburg), Paul Newton (R-Cabarrus) and Sam Searcy (D-Wake). As mentioned last week, attempts are being made that would grant developers’ greater latitude over voluntary conditions that are offered during negotiations with local governments during the rezoning process.
This legislation is subject to the May 9th “crossover” deadline, by which time a bill must have passed one of the chambers to remain eligible. The bill is expected to be heard in the Senate Judiciary Committee as early as next week if language can be crafted that would satisfy some concerns in the development community.
Meanwhile, the House is preparing to release its ideas for state spending over the next two years. The budget process is the largest driver of all legislative business and has the ability to create collateral damage. House and Senate leaders have agreed on the $24 billion target, however, that is $500 million less than the proposal Governor Cooper previously laid out. With the Republican supermajorities now gone in both the House and Senate, the Governor’s veto will carry much more weight.
Legislator of the Week
Representative Billy Richardson (D-Cumberland)
Representative Richardson is a primary sponsor of HB 675 (Building Code Regulatory Reform of 2019), one of NCHBA’s top legislative priorities for this session. We thank Representative Richardson for his leadership on this issue and for helping shape policies that keep housing affordable for North Carolina families.