Bill Summaries: S673 (2015-2016 Session)

  • Summary date: Aug 2 2016 - View summary


  • Summary date: Jun 29 2016 - View summary

    House committee substitute makes the following changes to the 2nd edition.


    Deletes all provisions of the previous edition and now provides the following.

    Enacts new GS 62-133.15, Cost recovery for natural gas economic development infrastructure, in Article 7 of GS Chapter 62 (Public Utilities). Provides that the purpose of this statute is to prescribe a procedure for a natural gas local distribution company to recover costs from constructing infrastructure to serve a project identified by the Department of Commerce (Department) as an eligible project under GS 143B-437.021 (enacted in this act). Directs the North Carolina Utilities Commission (Commission) to adopt rules to implement GS 62-133.13.

    Limits eligibility for cost recovery under the statute to natural gas economic development infrastructure determined by the Commission to satisfy all of the specified conditions, which include specifications as to eligible locations, binding commitments such as a commercial contract, and determining if there are insufficient projected margin revenues not recoverable under GS 62-133.4 from the eligible project to cover the cost associated with the project.

    Also includes specifications regarding determining: (1) the economic feasibility of the construction of the infrastructure, (2) the recoverable costs of an eligible project, and (3) the recovery of eligible economic development infrastructure costs in a rate adjustment surcharge mechanism. In addition, sets a limitation prohibiting a natural gas local distribution company from investing more than $25 million of eligible infrastructure development costs in any year and prohibits cumulative rate adjustments from exceeding 5% of the total annual service margin revenues not recoverable under GS 62-133.4 approved by the Commission in the natural gas local distribution company's last general rate case. Provides that the aggregate amount of eligible infrastructure development costs recovered under rate adjustment surcharge mechanisms for all natural gas local distribution companies in the State cannot exceed $75 million.

    Enacts new GS 143B-437.021, Natural gas economic development infrastructure, in Article 10 of GS Chapter 143B (Executive Organization Act of 1973). States that the purpose of GS 143B-437.021 is to provide criteria for use by the Department of Commerce (Department) in determining the eligibility of an economic development project that requires natural gas service infrastructure.

    Describes an eligible project as an economic development project that is determined by the Department to satisfy all of the following conditions: (1) provides opportunities for natural gas usage, jobs, and other economic development benefits in addition to those provided by the project; (2) has invested or intends to invest at least $200 million in private funds in improvements to real property and additions to tangible personal property in the project; and (3) the business employs or intends to employ at least 1,500 full-time employees or equivalent full-time employees at the project at the time the application is made, and the business agrees to maintain at minimum 1,500 full-time employees or equivalent full-time contract employees at the project.

    Provides that a project may be considered as an eligible project under this section only if it is a project of a business that satisfies a wage standard, identified as an average weekly wage equal to at least 110% of the average wage for all insured private employers in the county. Provides additional criteria for the calculation of and annual publication and certification of the satisfaction of the wage standard by the business. 

    Requires an eligible project to be one undertaken by a business that makes health insurance available to all full-time employees and equivalent full-time contract employees. Also provides that to be deemed an eligible project, the business undertaking the project must have no citations under the Occupational Safety and Health Act that have become a final order within the last three years for willful serious violations or for failing to abate serious violations (as defined in GS 95-127) with respect to the location for which the eligible project is located. Also requires that an eligible project be undertaken by a business that satisfies, at the time of the application, the environmental impact standard under GS 105-129.83. Specifies that no more than three eligible projects are authorized under the statute.

    Effective when the act becomes law and expires July 1, 2021, provided that the expiration does not affect the validity of any rate adjustment surcharge mechanism imposed or authorized under the provisions of the act prior to the effective date of expiration.

  • Summary date: Apr 23 2015 - View summary

    Senate committee substitute makes the following changes to the 1st edition:

    Deletes Sections 2 [amending GS 20-305(6)], 4 [amending GS 20-305(38)], 9 [amending GS 20-305.1(63)], and 10 [amending GS 20-305.1(c)] from the bill. 

  • Summary date: Apr 1 2015 - View summary

    Amends the following provisions of GS Chapter 20 by providing pinpoint references and links with antecedents to clarify connections between and among statutory provisions regarding motor vehicle dealers' and manufacturers' licensing law: GS 20-286(10)(b); GS 20-305(6); and GS 20-305(7)d.

    Amends GS 20-305(6)d.3. regarding manufacturer or distributor liability to a dealer if a termination, cancellation, or nonrenewal is based on any of the occurrences in GS 20-305(6)c.1.IV (change in ownership, operation, or control of all or any part of the business). Makes a contract, agreement, or release between any manufacturer and any dealer in which the dealer waives the dealer's right to receive monetary compensation in any sum or less than the fair market value insufficient to satisfy the manufacturer's obligation to adequately compensate the dealer and makes the contract voidable by the dealer.

    Amends GS 20-305(38) to specify the circumstances under which a franchised new motor vehicle dealer may file a petition and have an evidentiary hearing when a dealer's area of responsibility has been improperly changed, before the Commissioner, as provided in GS 20-301(b), to contest the franchise. Identifies existing circumstances that the Commissioner is to take into consideration in the evidentiary hearing. Provides that a policy or protocol of a manufacturer, distributor, factory, or distributor branch does not satisfy their burden of proof if the policy or protocol determining the area of responsibility is solely or primarily based on the proximity of census tracts or other geographic units to its franchised dealers. Effective when this act becomes law but does not apply to any pending matter that has been the subject of a judicial review hearing under GS Chapter 150B as of the effective date of this act.

    Amends GS 20-305(46) to provide specifications as to criteria that must be met in order for the manufacturer, distributor, or affiliate to recover cost from a dealer for any tool designated as special or essential. Also expounds on what constitutes recoverable, actual cost and what makes a tool essential.

    Amends GS 20-305.1(a) to define the term warranty serviceas it applies in this section. Amends GS 20-305.1(a2) to clarify the work that is not to be included in calculating the retail rate customarily charged by the dealer for parts and labor includes routine maintenance including alignments, flushes, oil changes, and brakes not provided in the course of repairs, and tires and vehicle alignments.

    Amends GS 20-305.1(a3) to clarify that if a manufacturer or distributor requires a dealer to store or otherwise not dispose of a part or component removed by the dealer in the course of performing repairs under a recall, campaign service action, or warranty repair, the manufacturer or distributor is to provide reasonable compensation for the storage. Provides that the amount of the reasonable compensation is to be determined by the dealer and specifies criteria upon which the dealer to base calculations for reasonable compensation.

    Amends GS 20-305.1(b3) to specify that without knowledge or the ready availability of knowledge of a purchaser or lessee's intent to export a vehicle to a foreign country or resell the vehicle to a third party, a dealer located in this state is protected from adverse action or threats of adverse action from a manufacturer. Also makes it unlawful for a manufacturer to take any adverse action against a dealer located in this state because the dealer failed to ensure that a purchaser or lessee paid personal property tax on the vehicle purchased or leased. Clarifies what actions constitute adverse action and discrimination (was, conduct) under this section.

    Makes a conforming change to GS 20-305.1(c). Clarifies that compensation, or the withholding of compensation or chargeback of other compensation or support to which a dealer would otherwise be entitled is stayed while waiting for a determination by the Commissioner as to the outcome of the dispute.

    Includes a severability clause to provide that if any provisions of the proposed act or its application are held to be invalid, the invalidity does not affect other provisions or applications that can be given effect without the invalid provisions or applications.

    Except as otherwise indicated, applies to all current and future franchises and other agreements in existence between any new motor vehicle dealer located in this state and a manufacturer or distributor as of the effective date of this act. Effective when the act becomes law.