No other construction industry organization in the Carolinas delivers on legislative and regulatory issues like Carolinas AGC. Whether it involves helping ease the workforce shortage; leading efforts to secure hundreds of millions of dollars for infrastructure improvements involving transportation, building and utility public construction work; improving the business climate for construction or cutting bureaucratic red tape and minimizing risks for the construction industry, CAGC is working for you.
 
Below is a snapshot of how Carolinas AGC lobbyists work on members’ behalf in the North Carolina and South Carolina legislatures.

North Carolina

“Our elections are up in the air until the court rules on legislative, congressional and possibly judicial district maps. All of this uncertainty affects CAGC’s legislative agenda for the short session beginning in May; it also affects which legislation will be allowed to move forward.” 
- Betsy Bailey, CAGC NC Government Relations Director

Although the second year of the two-year biennium does not begin until May, legislators have been meeting in special sessions off and on over the last six months to deal with court challenges to both legislative and congressional district maps and the possible re-drawing of judicial districts. Until we know the outcome of these court decisions, it’s impossible to predict the election landscape for November’s elections and to know what legislation may be considered for the 2018 short session.    

CAGC’s legislative priorities for 2018 in North Carolina’s short session in May include:

  • Working with NCDOT on their request for a transportation bond of upwards of $1 billion that will allow the department to stabilize the funding cycle for future projects once their cash balances have been spent down.

  • Partnering with education and local government advocates on a campaign to encourage legislators to support a $2 billion k-12 school bond to address a $8 billion statewide school construction need.

  • Advancing legislation—HB 650, State Board Construction Contract Claims—that passed the House last year and is eligible for consideration this year. This legislation would require the Director of State Construction to investigate and issue a final written decision on a claim within a prescribed timeframe to expedite claim resolution.

  • Continue opposing SB 607, the Job Order Contracting Method. Although it never had a committee hearing last year and is technically not eligible for consideration in 2018, lobbyists supporting this bill continue to work to advance this legislation despite strong opposition from CAGC and many others. JOC is a competitively bid, fixed price, indefinite quantity procurement contract compiled from a unit price catalog of construction or repair tasks awarded to the most qualified job order contractor bidder. The bill as written will significantly limit competition by allowing open-ended contracts covering multiple projects of up to $60 million.

  • Seeking additional funding (in addition to money received last year) in the NC Community College System budget to fund a contract with a professional services firm to conduct a branding campaign which will increase awareness of and interest in construction careers. CAGC, working with the Community College System, developed the RFP and participated in the selection process. The $200k appropriation, along with additional funding from NCDOT, will continue through this fiscal year. 

  • Working with the NC Community College System to support their request for funding for short-term workforce training programs.  

  • Hosting the NC Legislative Day June 6 at the Center for Architecture and Design in downtown Raleigh.

South Carolina

“As the legislature in South Carolina recently kicked off the second year of a two-year session, Carolinas AGC hit the ground running. We continue to lay the groundwork with members of the General Assembly, as well as Gov. Henry McMaster, on the need to create a pipeline of skilled workers for the construction industry. This is our number one priority and we hope to successfully see funding for a mobile work shop become a reality this year.”
-Leslie Clark, CAGC SC Government Relations Director

CAGC’s legislative priorities for 2018 in South Carolina include:

  • Pushing for state funds that will pay for a mobile workshop to bring awareness to the prosperous careers that are available in the field of construction. Similar to the Be Pro Be Proud initiative in Arkansas, CAGC is leading the charge to secure $950,000 from the state legislature to fund a similar program. We applaud Gov. Henry McMaster who included the funding in his Executive Budget. And, we continue to encourage members of the House and Senate to follow the Governor’s lead.

  • Supporting legislation that would add a new section to the SC Contractor’s Licensing law allowing a contractor to provide a surety bond for licensure or renewal, in lieu of providing a financial statement showing a minimum net worth. Currently, the SC Contractors Licensing Law does not provide any way to approve, for license or renewal, a company that has recently formed an Employee Stock Owned Plan (ESOP)—a means of transitioning ownership to its employees. When a company forms an ESOP, its financial statement (using standard GAAP accounting) does not reflect the financial status or strength of the company because the company is held in a trust.

  • Working with our industry partners (architects, engineers and mechanical contractors) to address proposed legislation that would change how South Carolina adopts commercial building codes.
And while not a legislative priority, we have made our SC Day at the State House a priority for our members each year. In January, members had a chance to spend a day with our SC Lobbyist, Leslie Clark, who walked them through the legislative process as well as the hall of our state legislature. Members were introduced in the House and the Senate during session and had a chance to talk with our Governor and key House and Senate members about our recently passed road funding legislation, work zone safety issues, skilled trade and workforce concerns, the over-burdensome business license fees, judicial elections, and ways to address conflicts of interest for legislators. The day ended with CAGC staff, members, and our architect and engineer partners, hosting a Joint Legislative Reception for all the members of the SC Legislature.