North Carolina

  • HB 943 – Connect NC Bond Act of 2015 – Passed (CAGC Supported)   
    Carolinas AGC led the efforts to secure legislation that would authorize the issuance of $2 billion of general obligation debt if a majority of voters voting in the March, 2016 primary election vote in favor of the measure.  The funds would be used for 14 new construction projects within the UNC system, the constituent institutions of the NC Community College system, grants and loans for local water and wastewater systems, National Guard armory facilities, state parks, and agriculture facilities.

  • Long-Term Sustainable Funding for Transportation – HB 97 (Budget Act) – Passed (CAGC Supported)   
    Working with a coalition led by the NC Chamber, CAGC was integral to the success of securing an additional $1.2 billion over the next two years for NC’s transportation network.  Additional revenue availability of $708 million is realized by ending the $216 million annual highway fund transfer and by adjustments in DMV fees which will also be indexed in future years.  Another $450 million is generated as a result of SB 20 (another CAGC supported effort) that established a floor on the motor fuels tax.

  • Reinstatement of Historic Preservation Tax Credit – HB 97 (Budget Act) – Passed (CAGC Supported)   
    Another coalition led effort that CAGC was proud to be a part of resulted in the reinstatement of the historic preservation tax credit that was allowed to expire last year.  The Governor and the Director of Cultural Resources traversed the state drumming up local support while partners and stakeholders, like CAGC, lobbied legislators to include the credit in the budget.

  • HB 136 – Speed Limit/Highway Work Zone - Failed (CAGC Opposed)
    This legislation, if enacted, would have provided that the additional $250 penalty imposed for speeding in a highway work zone would have applied only if workers are present and work is actively in progress.  CAGC worked hard against this bill and, with the help of Rep. Dean Arp, was able to get this bill amended to a study bill.  Although the bill passed on the House floor and in the Senate transportation committee as a study, CAGC was successful in ensuring that even the study bill did not pass.  However, this bill is still eligible for consideration in the short session.

  • HB 482 – Employee Misclassification Reform – Failed.  Eligible for Short Session (CAGC Supported)   
    A series of news stories in the News & Observer, critical of what was characterized as rampant worker misclassification in the construction industry, led to several bills being introduced with the intent of curbing the abuses. HB 482 would have created a Division within the Department of Revenue that would be responsible for investigating misclassification abuse, providing enforcement and levying penalties.  Because no other industry was specifically targeted or singled-out more than contractors, CAGC was the only organization working on behalf of commercial contractors to ensure a fair and balanced bill.
    Although a coalition of business groups (NC Chamber, Homebuilder’s Association, Retail Merchants Association) ultimately crafted a bill that would have improved enforcement without jeopardizing law-abiding businesses, the legislation was derailed by the newspaper carriers and Federal Express who both wanted exemptions

South Carolina

  • Gov. Henry McMaster signed S.105, the Automatic Stay bill, into law this session. The bill, sponsored by Sen. Luke Rankin of Horry County, is designed to protect businesses from individuals or groups looking to delay construction projects without properly demonstrating legal grounds for doing so. Carolinas AGC was one of several business groups who worked on this bill and applauds the governor’s support of this legislation.

  • After several maneuverable votes, S. 1043, the Abandoned Buildings Tax Credit Legislation ended up becoming this sessions Christmas tree bill. By the end of the final week of the session, the bill was amended to add five additional bills that had not already passed.  The original bill allows contractors and developers to receive a tax credit for refurbishing abandoned buildings. This Act sunsets in 2019, but the bill extends the sunset provision to 2021. Due the differences in the House and Senate versions of the bill, conferees met and removed some, but not all the bills that had been added. They did, however, maintain the language dealing with abandoned buildings tax credits. Unfortunately, Gov. McMaster vetoed the legislation because it violates the “one subject rule” addressing numerous subjects that are not spelled out in the title of the bill.  Lawmakers have until November 11 to override the Governor's veto. McMaster’s veto message can be found here.

  • H. 4644 was known this session as the Solid Waste bill and is the result of an Oversight Review Committee at the SC Department of Health and Environmental Control (DHEC). As passed and signed into law, the bill establishes a Solid Waste Emergency Fund (with existing fees), requires clearer authority on who is responsible when there is a dispute over a landfill (the local zoning board or DHEC) and defines weight limits for each type of material waste received and stored on site at a landfill.

  • Early this year, the legislature passed, and Governor McMaster signed into law, H. 4612 which is legislation dealing with surety bonds this session. The bill will provide an option for contractors to renew their license by submitting a surety bond in lieu of a financial statement. The bill was amended in conference committee to require a bond in two times the amount of the net worth requirement for which the contractor is renewing. Contractors must still provide a financial statement as spelled out in the law. This legislation was filed to assist contractors who have formed an ESOP, but still maintain the required net worth to renew their licenses.

  • With overwhelming opposition to several areas of the bill, from a majority of the design and construction community, S. 579, the Building Codes Council Legislation, died in committee this session. The legislation would weaken the authority of the SC Building Codes Council, extend the codes adoption cycle of the International Residential Code to six years, and freeze the SC codes at the 2018 ICC versions. Due to confusion about the adoption process and what would be required, legislators ended up taking no action in committee, thus killing the bill for the year.

  • Legislation that would address the Relocation of Water and Sewer Lines, S. 932, was passed out of the Senate but didn’t pass out of the House before the required crossover date. This bill, which would go a long way in cutting down on project delays, would require water and sewer utilities to be classified as small or large and reimbursements would be based on each classification. Utilities would have the option of working under the general contractor for the project or they could opt out. Since the bill did not pass, a budget proviso was offered for one year, as a pilot program, and that proviso successfully passed in this year’s budget.

  • The SC Senate approved a resolution that would create a CDL Pilot Program. The resolution memorialized Congress to authorize a pilot program between the states of Georgia, South Carolina, and North Carolina. The resolution would grant Commercial Driver's License holders between the ages of eighteen and twenty-one the right to operate in interstate commerce and to haul interstate commodities within and between these states. The resolution, S. 951, is an effort to allow younger drivers to get experience driving a commercial vehicle, thus creating a pipeline of commercial drivers.