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.

NC Flag North Carolina

  • Transportation Funding: Last year state lawmakers transferred $193 million in sales-tax revenues to the state highway fund to provide a secure, sustainable funding source for transportation. By 2025, that will triple to $600 million a year, and continue at about 6% of annual sales tax in future years. CAGC supports further increases in transportation funding through alternative funding sources.

    Support for:  SB 354 NC TEN
    Current Status – Passed in the Senate 
    1. Raises the registration or renewal fee for plug-in EVs by $40 (from $140 to $180)
    2. Enacts a $90/year fee for plug-in HYBRID vehicles (in addition to other registration/renewal fees)
    3. Removes the cap on total tax for vehicle purchases (Highway Use Tax) previously capped at $2,000.
    4. Enacts a new Transportation Commerce Tax - A tax rate of fifty cents (50¢) for exclusive-ride service and twenty-five cents (25¢) for shared-ride service.

  • Construction Workforce:  $7.3 million for CAGC Foundation. Recruitment of skilled workers into the construction industry is a top priority. Workers are needed now on highway heavy, building, and utility projects worth billions and the industry needs to build a strong pipeline for the future. 

    Funding for Heavy Equipment Operator Training $3.0M (23-24) $600k (24-25) 
    Current Status – Included in the House Budget

    A recent construction market survey indicated that heavy equipment operators are the most in-demand of all craft labor. Eight community colleges offer this training. The funding would be allocated to the CAGC Foundation to work with the NCCCS or DPI to add six new heavy equipment operator training programs. 

    Funding to Expand the Number of Certified Building Code Officials - $1.0M (23-24) $1.0M (24-25) 
    Current Status - Included in House Budget

    Lack of building code inspectors to conduct all types of building inspections across the state leads to project delays that increase costs for owners and general contractors.  There are too few inspectors to manage the volume of public and private construction projects needing timely inspections. The funding would be allocated to the CAGC Foundation to work with the NCCCS to recruit individuals to these programs and expand offerings. 

    Continued Funding for Construction Bootcamps - $750k (24-25).
    Current Status – Included in House Budget

    ARPA/SFRF funding of $2.5 million was awarded to the CAGC Foundation in 2021 to create Construction Bootcamps to recruit individuals into an 8-week accelerated “construction 101” program to prepare them for an entry level position in construction. Eleven community colleges are offering this training starting in the Summer and plans are to expand this training broadly across the state. The training is targeted to minorities, women, justice-involved individuals, veterans, and disadvantaged youth.
    Beginning in 2024-25 funding is needed to create a program that focuses primarily on individuals coming out of high school that do not plan to attend a college or university. This 8-week program would allow students to earn several certifications and provide a transition between high school and full-time employment. Funding would be allocated to the CAGC Foundation to contract with community colleges across the state to serve as the training partner. 

    Fund Pilot Program to Recruit Community College Instructors from Industry - $500K.
    Current Status – Included in the House Budget for Heavy Equipment Operator Instructors Only. 
    Modification needed. 
    This pilot program would allow the CAGC Foundation to create a program to recruit instructors from within the industry for in-demand training to include heavy equipment operators. 

    Funding for Middle and High School Career Awareness Program - $500k.
    Current Status – Included in the House Budget. Modification needed. 

    In conjunction with the DPI, the CAGC Foundation would create a program for middle and high school students to promote careers in technical education. This could include recruiting instructors from within the industry to provide training. 

  • Inflation Funding Shortfalls:  Continued inflation and supply chain disruptions are resulting in construction project cost overruns and delays. The last legislative biennium saw the General Assembly pass more than $6 billion worth of construction projects to be delivered over the next 6 years. 

    Increase Funding to the “Flex Funds” (SCIF) by at least $75M  
    Current Status - $75 million included in House Budget

  • Alternative Project Delivery:  Progressive Design-Build is currently not allowed on NCDOT projects. 

    Support for legislation that will authorize Progressive Design Build for NCDOT 

  • Regulatory Reform:  CAGC supports streamlining state and local regulatory review processes. We support innovative ways to streamline the permitting, inspection, and plan review policies and procedures at the state and local level to ensure projects can be delivered safely, on time and within budget. 

    Support for HB 332 – Streamline Commercial/Multi-Family Building Review
    1. Requires a local government to complete its plan review and issue a building permit decision for commercial and multifamily building plans within 21 days of submission, unless agreed to by all parties. If the local government requests additional information or requires a plan to be resubmitted, it must
    2. issue a building permit decision within 15 days.
    3. Authorizes a local government, or a permit applicant to elect under certain circumstances, the use of a third-party reviewer.
    4. Provides a liability limitation for local governments when issuing permits based on plan reviews performed by a third-party reviewer at the election of a permit applicant under these new provisions. 

  • Competitive and Fair Bidding:  For many years, CAGC has worked tirelessly to write and re-write state statutes to ensure a competitive and fair bidding process for public projects. CAGC opposes any legislative efforts that create an unfair bidding climate. 

  • Safety:  The safety of our workforce is critical. The number of accidents in highway work zones has continued to increase each year and according to the NC Department of Labor’s recent statistics, construction workers suffered the most work-related fatalities last year than any other industry. We support policy and legislative proposals that will provide a safe environment for our workers. We will collaborate with legislative leaders to make certain that the debate over legalizing medical marijuana considers the impact this will have on safety in the workplace. 

SC Flag South Carolina

The CAGC government relations priorities which align with those announced in Gov. Henry McMaster’s Executive Budget are as follows:

  • $500 million for SCDOT (non-recurring). $300 million for I-73 Phase 1, $50 million for SCDOT (recurring): The Department of Transportation (SCDOT) was allocated almost $1 billion last year to accelerate and jump start construction, expansion, or improvements to our State-owned roads, bridges, highways, and to widen interstates. This year, my Executive Budget provides an additional $850 million to expedite the start and completion of SCDOT projects that will relieve traffic congestion, repair, or replace over 400 bridges, and to enhance repaving and resurfacing on our local and secondary roads.

  • $78 million for Workforce Scholarships for the Future: To address the historic labor crisis affecting key sectors of South Carolina’s economy, a request was made to the General Assembly to invest an additional $78 million in lottery funds to expand Workforce Scholarships for the Future through the South Carolina Technical College System.

  • $500,000 recurring funds for the Be Pro Be Proud initiative to increase interest in the skilled, professional trades: According to DEW, “critical needs” jobs account for 45% of the workforce, while only 29% of people have the necessary skills to fill those jobs. And, according to a report by the Lumina Foundation, by 2025, 60% of Americans will need some type of high-quality credential beyond high school to participate in the workforce.

  • Carolinas AGC will also be focused on improving the legal climate in South Carolina. CAGC is a member of the SC Coalition for Lawsuit Reform, and our own Leslie Clark is the chair of the coalition. The coalition is asking the General Assembly, this session, to address the issue of joint and several liability. “Our state must move to a system in which businesses and individuals are only required to pay damages based on their actual share of fault,” said Leslie Clark. This will continue to be a priority for CAGC.