NC Legislative Wrap-Up

November 6, 2019

Budget crisis? Redrawn District Maps? Medicaid Expansion?? These are all terms we heard constantly throughout this year’s marathon LONG session (which finally adjourned Thursday, Oct. 31). While we continue to track any and all activity stemming from our General Assembly, we do think it’s time to unveil a few “wins” we saw from this past year. We are highlighting our Legislative Priorities in the captions below.

Eliminate unnecessary regulatory reform to keep North Carolina and Buncombe County competitive nationwide in the attraction and retention of jobs

  SB 86:  Association Health Care Bill

  • Allows Associations (Chambers, Realtors Assoc., etc.) to form group health plans – ideal for small businesses

  SB 290: ABC Regulatory Reform Bill

  • Loosens self-distribution restrictions on local distillers/Two at a time!

Fund programs serving and supplying affordable and workforce housing

  SB 316:  Affordable Housing study

  • State looking into ways it can help fill gaps in Local AH efforts

Increase pay for North Carolina’s K-12 teachers with the goal of NC educator salaries meeting the national average in the next three years

  Budget: Pay increases for teachers

  • A statewide average teacher salary figure of $53,975 would bring North Carolina’s ranking up from 37th last year to 29th in the country on average teacher pay, NEA estimates

**NOTE: The Budget still has not officially passed, but we anticipate this % at a minimum based on either the budget passing or some “mini-budget” conference bill. The General Assembly adjourned Oct. 31st without enacting a new state budget for the first time. State government can continue day-to-day operations based on the existing budget and several other funding measures passed this legislative session. Legislators won’t be gone for long—they’re expected back in Raleigh next week to discuss congressional redistricting and other pending legislation. For more information, check out WRAL’s long session wrap up.

Ensure our local community colleges and universities have sustained funding and programming to continue quality academic and workforce training to support WNC’s economic future

  H 664:  myFutureNC

  • The MyFutureNC Commission set an important postsecondary attainment goal for the state – by 2030, 2 million North Carolinians between 25 and 44 will have a high-quality postsecondary degree or credential.

**Our current population with these qualifications is 1.2 million.

Increase funding for access to broadband and fiber optic networks in our region, particularly in our rural schools, health care centers and small businesses

SB 310/H387:  Electric Co-Op Rural Broadband

  • The bill removes state regulations that impeded electric membership cooperatives from receiving federal grant funds for connecting underserved areas across the country

Advance a comprehensive approach to WNC’s energy needs by allowing diversification and modernization of our sourcing

HB 329:  EV Charging Station Exemption

  • The bill exempts EV charging stations from being regulated like public utilities – big news for a few local startups we’ve championed via Venture Asheville, our high-growth entrepreneurship initiative.

NEW District maps have been upheld by the Courts and our friends at Citizen-Times give a solid breakdown, including precinct maps from Blake Esselstyn.

Please continue to follow us on Twitter, Facebook and through our newsletter to receive updates. As always, feel free to reach out with any questions or comments to VP of Public Policy Corey Atkins at 828-258-6126 or