Two NCHBA Legislative Priorities Await Governor’s Signature; Appointments Bill Passes
SB 686 (Appointments Bill 2019) moved quickly through both the House and Senate last week to become law. This legislation contains numerous appointments that are granted to the President Pro Temp. of the Senate and the Speaker of the House. NCHBA (Iredell County HBA) member James Pressley was appointed to the North Carolina Housing Partnership for a term expiring on August 31, 2020. James currently serves as Region 8 Vice President for NCHBA and President of the Iredell County HBA. He will be filling the unexpired term of a board member who chose to step down. The North Carolina Housing Partnership sets policy and appropriates funds for the North Carolina Housing Trust Fund.
Also of note, Leigh Brown of Cabarrus County, Derek Macleod of New Hanover County, Tom Smith of Wake County, James Carlton Kearney, Sr. of Henderson County, Paul S. Jaber of Nash County, and James W. Oglesby of Buncombe County were all appointed to the North Carolina Housing Finance Agency Board of Directors for terms expiring on June 30, 2021. The North Carolina Housing Finance Agency is a self-supporting agency that finances affordable housing opportunities for North Carolinians whose needs are not met by the traditional markets.
Meanwhile, NCHBA member and former NCHBA President Russ Davis of Onslow County was reappointed to the North Carolina On-Site Wastewater Contractors and Inspectors Certification Board for a term expiring on June 30, 2022. Russ served as President of NCHBA in 1992 and remains a member of the Rocky Mount Area Home Builders Association. This slot is appointed based on the recommendation of the North Carolina Home Builders Association.
The last two remaining 2019 legislative priorities are awaiting the Governors signature. HB 675 (Building Code Regulatory Reform of 2019) and HB 492 (Simplify Builders Inventory Exclusion) were both sent to the Governor after having passed the General Assembly by overwhelming and bipartisan margins in both chambers. NCHBA staff has reached out to representatives in the Governor’s office to explain the provisions of each bill. We fully expect the Governor to sign both bills into law shortly.
HB 675 includes several important provisions: prohibiting developers from having to bury existing power lines outside of a subdivision, eliminating minimum square footage requirements for homes and expediting the local plan review process. HB 492 would eliminate the yearly administrative hurdle in claiming a tax reduction on a builder’s inventory. Both bills will save HBA members time and money during the home construction process.
Leaders in the General Assembly and the Governor’s office remain at odds on the 2019-2020 budget. The fiscal year began on July 1. However, the Governor vetoed the budget setting up the stalemate. The primary sticking point appears to be Medicaid expansion which the Governor wants and the legislative leadership does not favor. While the House and Senate will return this week for sessions on Monday and Tuesday, the agenda for the rest of the week is unresolved.