Legislative Report: Continuing Education For General Contractors Legislation Introduced In The Senate
It took a few weeks but legislators and staff are now fully engaged in the legislative process. As of last Thursday afternoon, nearly 200 bills had been introduced between both chambers. The first few weeks of session are typically slow as members deal with office and staff adjustments. This year’s pace was further slowed by a larger freshman class that’s still feeling their way around the intricacies of the legislative process. Committee chairs have also increased their workloads as several House and Senate committees met for the first time and scheduled additional meetings for next week.
A top legislative priority for the 2019 Long Session was filed on Wednesday. SB 55 Continuing Education for General Contractors enhances the professionalism of the industry and helps general contractors navigate the ever-changing complexities of the field. Senator Rick Gunn (R-Alamance) will take the lead on this bill, and he will be aided by Senator Paul Newton (R-Cabarrus) and Senator Don Davis (D-Greene). The most impressive aspect of the bill’s release is the fact that 33 additional senators added their names as co-sponsors of the legislation. As of Thursday afternoon, 36 of the 50 members of the Senate are sponsors or co-sponsors of this bill. As previously stated in past legislative reports, continuing education requirements must meet the following criteria statewide:
- Completed in 1 day (8 Hours)
- Accessible across North Carolina
Licensed general contractors will join electrical contractors, plumbers, heating & fire sprinkler contractors, home inspectors, engineers and several other home builder related fields in requiring continuing education for their license. Next week, Representative(s) Larry Potts (R-Davidson), Mark Brody (R-Union), Julia Howard (R-Davie) and Ashton Clemmons (D-Guilford) will prepare a companion bill in the House that will mirror the Senate’s bill.
SB 70 Erosion & Sedimentation Program/PED was introduced in the Senate on Thursday. The legislation would drastically increase the application fees ($65 per acre to $125 per acre) and the fees that cover the cost of inspection and program administration activities ($100 per acre to $170 per acre). While incremental fee increases can be expected over time with the cost of inflation, this drastic increase would be detrimental to the cost of land development. Furthermore, the increase in cost comes with no guarantee of expedited service, essentially leaving the permittee with the same service at an increased cost.
SB 62 Stormwater/Included Donated Land in Density was filed on Wednesday by Senator Andy Wells (R-Catawba). The bill would require that property donated to the state or a land conservation organization be included in the calculations of a project’s density under state stormwater rules. This would provide greater flexibility in the planning of land distributing projects.
The pace of legislative action will only increase in the coming weeks. NCHBA’s team will spend much of the week in the House preparing the companion to SB 55 Continuing Education for General Contractors. House and Senate Committee meetings will be in full swing and the pace of introduced legislation will only increase.
Legislator Of The Week
Senator Bob Steinburg (R-District 1)
Senator Bob Steinburg from Edenton, NC is a stalwart supporter of the home building industry. We thank him for his hard work shaping policies that make home ownership a reality for North Carolina families.