AN ACT APPROPRIATING FUNDS FOR THE 2019-2021 FISCAL BIENNIUM TO AWARD PUBLIC EMPLOYEE BENEFITS INCREASES AND LEGISLATIVELY MANDATED SALARY INCREASES TO STATE EMPLOYEES. SL 2019-209. Enacted August 30, 2019. Effective July 1, 2019, except as otherwise provided.
Summary date: Sep 3 2019 - More information
Summary date: Aug 26 2019 - More information
Conference report deletes all provisions of the 6th edition and replaces them with the following.
Changes the act's titles.
Appropriates $239,220,554 for the 2019-20 fiscal year and $572,705,157 from the General Fund for the 2020-21 fiscal year to the specified entities in the specified amounts to cover the costs of implementing the act.
Appropriates from the Highway Fund to the Department of Transportation (DOT) $9,805,035 and $22,327,533 in recurring funds for the 2019-20 and 2020-21 fiscal years, respectively, to cover the cost of implementing the act.
Deems the funds appropriated for each year of the biennium as agency receipts to implement the act.
Transfers from the Department of Insurance (DOI) to the General Fund $1,249,541 for the 2019-20 fiscal year and $2,700,421 for the 2020-21 fiscal year.
Transfers from the Office of State Treasurer (OST) to the General Fund $41,913 for the 2019-20 fiscal year and $91,132 for the 2020-21 fiscal year.
Effective July 1, 2019, awards a 2.5% salary increase of the 2019-21 fiscal year and allowable salary adjustment for any person whose salary is set by Part III of the act or otherwise authorized in the act who is employed in a State-funded position on June 30, 2019. Similarly, effective July 1, 2020, awards a 2.5% salary increase of the 2020-21 fiscal year and allowable salary adjustment for any person whose salary is set by Part III of the act or otherwise authorized in the act who is employed in a State-funded position on June 30, 2020. Excepts from the eligibility to receive the legislative salary increases: employees of local boards of education, local community college employee, UNC employees, clerks of superior court compensated under GS 7A-101, correctional employees to which HB 609 applies, law enforcement officers to which HB 126 or HB 777 applies, and employees of schools operated by the Department of Health and Human Services, the Department of Public Safety, and the State Board of Education paid based on the Teacher Salary Schedule. Provides for part-time employees to receive the increases on a prorated basis. Allows for eligibility despite the employee's maximum salary range.
Amends GS 147-11 to increase the Governor's salary from $147,287 to $150,969, effective July 1, 2019, and to $154,743, effective July 1, 2020.
Sets the annual salaries for members of the Council of State at $133,365, effective July 1, 2019, and $136,699, July 1, 2020.
Sets the annual salaries for specified executive branch officials and judicial branch officials, effective July 1, 2019, and July 1, 2020. Requires average salaries for assistant district attorneys or assistant public defenders not exceed $80,579 or be less than $43,248 for the 2019-20 fiscal year, effective July 1, 2019, and not exceed $82,593 or be less than $44,329 for the 2020-21 fiscal year, effective July 1, 2020.
Provides $800,000 of the funds available to the Administrative Office of the Courts to increase the budgeted annual salary to $70,000 for each new ADA position created in SL 2017-57 (Appropriations Act of 2017).
Effective July 1, 2019, amends GS 7A-101 to establish a salary schedule for clerks of superior court based on the number of State-funded assistant and deputy clerks of court as determined by the AOC workload formula, ranging from $95,000 for 0-19 assistants and deputies and $127,500 for 100 or more assistants and deputies (previously, based on county population, ranging from $90,972 for less than 100,000 and $123,554 for 250,000 and above). Makes conforming and technical changes. Effective July 1, 2020, increases the salaries in the schedule in specified amounts ranging from $97,375 to $130,688.
Effective July 1, 2019, and July 1, 2020, amends GS 7A-102 to increase the maximum salary of assistant clerks and head bookkeppers to $62,691 and $64,258, and deputy clerks to $49,235 and $50,466, respectively.
Effective July 1, 2019, amends GS 7A-171.1 to increase the amounts set in the table of salaries for magistrates, ranging from $39,586 to $63,212. Effective July 1, 2020, increases the amounts again, ranging from $40,456 to $64,792.
Effective July 1, 2019, increases the annual salaries of the Legislative Services Officer and nonelected employees of the General Assembly in effect on June 30, 2019, by 2.5%. Effective July 1, 2020, increases the annual salaries of the Legislative Services Officer and nonelected employees of the General Assembly in effect on June 30, 2020, by 2.5%. Provides that GS 120-32 controls.
Effective July 1, 2019, and July 1, 2020, amends GS 120-37 to increase the salary of principal clerks from $111,107 to $113,885, and $116,732, respectively.
Effective July 1, 2019, and July 1, 2020, amends GS 120-37 to increase the salary of the sergeant-at-arms from $438 per week to $449 per week and $460 per week, respectively.
Mandates the legislative increases, unless otherwise provided, for (1) all permanent, full-time State officials and persons whose salaries are set pursuant to the State Human Resources Act (SHRA); (2) permanent, full-time State officials and persons in positions exempt from the SHRA; (3) permanent, part-time State employees; and (4) temporary and permanent hourly State employees.
Details parameters and limitations of the legislative salary increases, including that the increases do not apply to persons separated from service prior to June 30, 2019, for the 2019-20 fiscal year, or June 30, 2020, for the 2020-21 fiscal year. Allows for the reallocation of funds appropriated for the increases in excess of the amounts required by an agency to another agency that received insufficient funds. Requires excess amounts to be credited to the Pay Plan Reserve. Establishes reporting requirements for the Office of State Budget and Management by May 1, 2020, and May 1, 2021, to the specified NCGA committee and division on the expenditure of funds for legislatively mandated salary increases and employee benefits for the respective fiscal year. Details required content of the reports.
Grants state employees a one-time additional five days of annual leave, credited on July 1, 2019. Excludes full-time permanent state employees eligible to earn annual leave; UNC employees; and employees to which HB 609, HB 126, or HB 777 apply. Details parameters and limitations for the leave awarded, including that the leave has no cash value and cannot be paid out upon separation or retirement. Adds that any vacation leave remaining on December 31 of each year in excess of 30 days is reduced by the number of days awarded by the act that were actually used by the employee during the year, so that the calculation of vacation leave days that would convert to sick leave reflects the deduction of those days of special annual leave awarded that were used by the employee during the year. Allows the leave to carry forward to each following year, as specified. Clarifies that no employee is required to take the additional leave awarded.
Effective for the 2019-21 fiscal biennium, mandates that required employer salary-related contributions be paid from the same source as the source of the employee's salary, with those paid from the General Fund or Highway Fund paid proportionately to the salary portion supported by those funds. Makes the provisions applicable to payments on behalf of the employee for hospital medical benefits, longevity pay, unemployment compensation, accumulated leave, workers' compensation, severance pay, separation allowances, and applicable disability income benefits.
Sets the State's employer contribution rates budgeted for retirement and related benefits for the 2019-20 and 2020-21 fiscal years, effective July 1, 2019, and July 1, 2020, respectively, for teachers and State employees, State law enforcement officers, the University and Community Colleges Optional Retirement Programs, the Consolidated Judicial Retirement System, and the Legislative Retirement System.
Sets a cap for annual employer contributions payable monthly by the State for each covered employee or retiree for the State Health Plan for the 2019-20 fiscal year at $4,900 for Medicare-eligible employees and retirees and $6,306 for non-medicare-eligible employees and retirees; and for the 2020-21 fiscal year at $5,165 for Medicare-eligible employees and retirees, and $6,647 for non-Medicare-eligible employees and retirees.
Sets the total State contribution to the North Carolina Firefighters' and Rescue Squad Workers' Pension Fund at $18,652,208 in 2019-20 and $19,002,208 in 2020-21.
Sets the total State contribution to the North Carolina National Guard Pension Fund at $11,031,715 in 2019-20 and $11,031,715 in 2020-21.
Requires that $215,000 from the funds allocated to the Office of State Controller be used to adjust the salaries of SAP-skilled employees closer to 85% of the midpoint of average market pay rates.
Requires that of the funds appropriated in Part I of this act, 0.05% of the estimated General Fund payroll for each entity be used to pay short-term disability benefits.
Provides that if any provision of this act and GS 143C-5-4 (enactment deadline; procedures to be followed when the Current Operations Appropriations Act does not become law prior to the end of certain fiscal years) are in conflict, the provisions of this act prevail. Provides that the appropriations and the authorizations to allocate and spend funds set out in this act remain in effect until the Current Operations Appropriations Act for the applicable fiscal year becomes law, at which time that act becomes effective and governs appropriations and expenditures.
Effective July 1, 2019.
Summary date: Aug 13 2019 - More information
Senate amendment adds the following to the 5th edition.
Adds new Part IV. Amends GS 7A-377 by prohibiting the Judicial Standards Commission (Commission) from investigating when its own motion or a written complaint by a citizen is based substantially upon a legal ruling by a district or superior court judge and the ruling has not yet been reviewed and ruled upon by either the North Carolina Court of Appeals or the North Carolina Supreme Court. Limits the review to judicial conduct and prohibits reviewing matters of law. Applies to complaints or investigations pending on or after the date the act becomes law.
Summary date: Jun 27 2019 - More information
Senate committee substitute makes the following changes to the 4th edition.
Makes the changes to GS 7A-38.2 effective October 1, 2019, instead of July 1, 2019.
Summary date: Jun 26 2019 - More information
Senate committee substitute makes the following changes to the 3rd edition.
Makes organizational changes throughout.
Modifies the proposed changes to GS 7A-52 to maintain that an emergency judge can be assigned in the event of a disability of a sitting judge. Adds to the permitted instances in which an emergency judge can be assigned: (1) assignment by the Chief Justice of a Rule 2.1 exceptional case to an emergency judge and (2) court coverage needed by holdover sessions, administrative responsibilities of the chief district court judge, or cases in which a judge has a conflict or judicial educational responsibilities (was, general conflict of a sitting judge). Makes organizational changes to the proposed disaster declaration circumstance, no longer specifically requiring the declaration to be made within a judicial district.
Enacts GS 7A-98 to provide for unsworn written declarations under penalty of perjury to have the same force and effect as sworn declarations in all court proceedings or pursuant to any rule, regulation, order, or requirement requiring or permitting matters to be supported or proved in writing by oath or affirmation. Excludes oral testimony; oaths of office; and any statement under oath or affirmation required to be taken before a specified official other than a notary public. Sets forth the form for sufficient declarations under the statute. Provides for electronic declaration if the Supreme Court promulgates rules authorizing filing and electronic signatures in any court proceeding. Amends GS 14-209, which sets forth the offense of perjury as a Class F felony, to include the willful and corrupt commission of perjury in any unsworn declaration in the form prescribed by new GS 7A-98. Enacts GS 1-148.1 and GS 15A-101.2 to provide for unsworn declarations in civil pleadings and criminal actions. Effective 30 days after the Director of the Administrative Office of the Courts (AOC) certifies to the NC Supreme Court that the AOC is ready to begin implementation of an integrated case management system adopted pursuant to the e-Courts initiative.
Amends GS 7A-308 to exempt attorneys filing secured leave documents pursuant to Supreme Court rules from specified clerk fees.
No longer deletes the language in GS 7A-346.2(c) that required the Administrative Office of the Courts to report to the specified NCGA entities on remanded cases in which the defendant withdraws an appeal for trial de novo in superior court and the superior court judge has signed an order remanding the case to the district court.
No longer deletes the language in GS 7A-350 that required the Administrative Office of the Courts to report to specified NCGA entities on judicially granted waivers of criminal court costs.
Eliminates the proposed changes to GS 105A-8 in Part III of the act, which required a request for a hearing on a contested claim of the Judicial Department to be filed within 60 days of the Department mailing the debtor notice of the proposed setoff and deemed a judicial official's order prima facie evidence that an issue has been litigated. Instead, amends GS 105A-8 to require contested claim hearings for any unit of the Judicial Branch to be conducted in accordance with the administrative procedures approved by the AOC Director and the Director of Indigent Defense Services. Establishes original jurisdiction for clerks of superior court where a judgement has been docketed to hear a contested claim and not transfer the matter to district or superior court. Establishes original jurisdiction for the AOC Director to hear contested claims of the Judicial Branch not arising out of a docketed judgement. Amends GS 105A-9 to entitle a party to appeal to superior court for a hearing de novo within 10 days of an order of the clerk of superior court, the AOC Director, or a designee. Provides for filing of the appeal. Makes conforming changes to GS 7A-498.6 to require the Director of Indigent Defense Services to collaborate with the AOC Director in developing administrative procedures regarding Judicial Branch contested claim hearings. Applies to notices issued on or after January 1, 2020.
Amends GS 44A-4, which allows a lienor to institute a special proceeding to sell a vehicle which has a fair market value of less than $800 in cases in which the certified mail notice is returned undeliverable or if the legal title holder cannot be reasonably ascertained. Limits the special proceeding to one vehicle (previously, allowed for the special proceeding to include more than one vehicle so long as the proceeds of each sale were only subject to valid claims). Applies to applications filed on or after December 1, 2019.
Further amends GS 7A-20 to make the language gender-neutral.
Clarifies that the proposed changes to Section 8.2 of SL 2018-40, effective January 1, 2019, are effective retroactively.
Eliminates the provisions regarding the legislative intent of the act's headings.
Summary date: Mar 20 2019 - More information
House committee substitute makes the following changes to the 2nd edition.
Amends GS 7A-309 (Magistrate's special fees), increasing the magistrate fee for hearing a petition for year's allowance to surviving spouse or child, issuing notices to commissioners, allotting the same and making return from $8 to $20. Applies to petitions filed on or after January 1, 2020.
Eliminates the proposed changes to GS 32C-1-116 (concerning reimbursement and compensation of an agent under power of attorney) and GS 101-2 (concerning name change petitions).
Amends GS 105A-8, concerning State agency notice, hearing, decision, and refund of a setoff under the Setoff Debt Collection Act, extending the timeframe within which a request for hearing on a contested claim of the Judicial Department to be filed to now require the request be filed within 60 days after the Judicial Department mails the debtor notice of the proposed setoff (currently covered by the general provisions requiring a request for a hearing on a contested claim of any State agency be filed within 30 days after the agency mailed the debtor notice of the proposed setoff). Adds a new provision establishing that an order of a judicial official serves as prima facie evidence than an issue has been litigated. Applies to notices on or after January 1, 2020.
Summary date: Mar 13 2019 - More information
House committee substitute makes the following changes to the 1st edition.
Further amends GS 7A-52 to authorize an emergency judge to be assigned in the event of a conflict of a sitting judge.
Repeals GS 45-21.21(f), which required a foreclosure sale to begin at the time designated in the notice of sale and never later than an hour after the time fixed, and required sales to be held between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. on any day on which the Clerk's office is normally open (previously, only amended the statute to remove the time and date requirements for a foreclosure sale). Makes a clarifying change to GS 45-21.23 to require that the sale be held between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. on any day when (was, on which) the Clerk's office is normally open.
Makes clarifying changes to the proposed changes to GS 84-32 to require that final judgments of censure, whether issued by the State Bar Grievance Committee or the disciplinary hearing commissioner, and final orders of suspension or disbarment issued by the disciplinary hearing commission be entered upon the judgment docket of the superior court where the respondent resides or practices and on the minutes of the NC Supreme Court (previously, required entry of final judgement of censure, suspension, and disbarment, with no distinctions). Adds that final determinations of incapacity or disability must be entered upon the judgment docket of the superior court in the same manner as those final judgments, whether issued by the State Bar Grievance Committee or the disciplinary hearing commission (previously not specified). Adds new provision establishing the final determination to be effective Statewide.
Further amends GS 7A-38.2 to make clarifying changes regarding the powers and duties of the chair of the Dispute Resolution Commission.
Modifies the proposed changes to GS 15A-1452, to require the clerk of superior court to notify (was, bring the matter to the attention of) the district attorney when an appeal is withdrawn for a judgment imposing a suspended sentence, who must calendar a review hearing as now required (was, as provided for) in the statute.
Modifies the proposed changes to GS 7A-308, which adds a $300 fee for in rem foreclosures, by removing the provision that provided for an additional fee to be collected when the property is sold under execution and makes the $300 fee applicable only if the property is sold under execution. Makes conforming and clarifying changes to proposed GS 105-375(i1).
Further amends GS 7A-20 by making additional language gender-neutral.
Summary date: Feb 27 2019 - More information
Amends GS 7A-52 to allow emergency judges to be assigned in the event of a medical leave absence (was disability) of a sitting judge. Adds that an emergency judge may be assigned when a disaster declaration is made within a judicial district.
Amends GS 7A-304 by deleting the required notice when the court waives any court fines or costs and deletes the related reporting requirement.
Amends GS 7A-343 to require the report on business court site activities be submitted annually instead of semiannually.
Amends GS 7A-346.2 by removing the requirements to report on (1) the economic viability of the worthless check collection programs and (2) cases in which a criminal defendant withdraws an appeal for trial de novo in the superior court and the superior court judge has signed an order remanding the case to district court.
Repeals GS 7A-346.3, which required an impaired driving integrated data system report.
Amends GS 7A-350 by removing the requirement to report on the waiver of criminal court costs.
Amends GS 30-29 to require that a petition for spousal allowance set out that the decedent's state exceed $60,000 (was, $30,000).
Amends GS 45-21.21 to no longer require that a foreclosure sale be held between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. on any day on which the Clerk's office is normally open. Amends GS 45-21.23 to require that the sale be held between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. on any day on which the Clerk's office is normally open (was, on any day other than Sunday or a legal holiday when the courthouse is closed for transactions).
Amends GS 84-32 to require that final judgments of censure (as well as suspension or disbarment) be entered upon the judgment docket of the superior court where the respondent resides or practices and on the minutes of the NC Supreme Court. Adds that final determinations of incapacity or disability must be entered upon the judgment docket of the superior court in the same manner as those final judgments.
Amends GS 7A-38.2 by adding that the chair of the Dispute Resolution Commission may collect a fee from any person who appeals an adverse determination to the full Commission for a hearing and fails to attend without good cause. Sets the fee at the lesser of the Commission's actual expenses for the hearing or $2,500, and requires that the fees be deposited into the Dispute Resolution Fund. Applies to hearings held on or after July 1, 2019.
Amends GS 15A-502 to allow either the sheriff or other designated agency (was, sheriff only) to inform the court when a person fails to appear for court ordered fingerprinting.
Amends GS 15A-1452 as follows. Requires the clerk of superior court to enter an order reflecting the fact and directing compliance when an appeal is withdrawn for a judgment that imposed an active sentence or imposed only monetary obligations without probation. Requires that if the appellate division affirms a judgment that imposed an active sentence or imposed only monetary obligations without probation, the superior court clerk must file the directive and order compliance with its terms. Requires that the clerk, when an appeal is withdrawn for a judgment imposing a suspended sentence, bring the matter to the attention of the district attorney who must calendar a review hearing as now provided for in the statute. Adds that if the appellate division affirms a judgement that imposed a suspended sentence, the clerk of superior court must file the direction and bring the matter to the attention of the district attorney, who must calendar a review hearing as now provided for in the statute. Specifies that at such a hearing, the defendant is entitled to be present and represented by counsel to the same extent as in the original sentencing hearing; sets out additional requirements for the hearing. Effective December 1, 2019, and applies to any mandate of the appellate division received in the trial division on or after that date.
Amends GS 20-217 requiring that the clerk of superior court notify the Division of Motor Vehicles of any person who fails to pay a fine or costs imposed under the statute (which requires motor vehicles to stop for properly marked and designated school buses in certain instances) within 40 (was, 20) days of the date specified in the court's judgement.
Amends GS 48-2-403 to require that the petitioner, rather than the clerk of court, deliver notice of an adoption proceeding to the specified agencies, and requires proof of service to be submitted to the court.
Amends GS 7A-307 to provide that the only cost assessed when an estate is administered or settled under GS 28A-25-6 (concerning payment to clerk of money owed decedent) is a $20 fee. Increases the fee for hearing a petition for year's allowance to surviving spouse or child, in cases not assigned to a magistrate, from $8 to $20. Effective January 1, 2020.
Repeals GS 7A-809, which required a report on the status of implementation of character recognition software when removing requested personal information from images or copies of publicly accessible official records.
Amends GS 7A-308 by adding a $300 fee for in rem foreclosures, with an additional fee to be collected when the property is sold under execution. Makes conforming and clarifying changes to GS 105-375. Applies to execution sales conducted on or after October 1, 2019.
Amends GS 11-701 to authorize retired clerks to administer oaths of office.
Amends GS 28A-25-6 to require a motion of the clerk or application of an interested party before the clerk of superior court, when no administrator has been appointed, to disburse money received under the statute to pay the surviving spouse's and children's year's allowance and other claims.
Amends GS 42-34 to provide that the specified deadlines related to summary ejectment actions are based on business days.
Amends GS 7A-11 and GS 7A-20 by making language gender-neutral.
Amends GS 7A-354 to clarify that the ex offico members of the Human Trafficking Commission are nonvoting members.
Amends GS 14-43.15 to correct a typo.
Amends GS 15A-1469(b1) by correcting a statutory cross-reference.
Amends GS 28A-2-4 by correcting a statutory cross-reference.
Amends GS 32C-1-112 to provide that unless the power of attorney otherwise provides, an agent is entitled upon request to the clerk of superior court to be reimbursed for expenses (previously did not specify on request to the clerk). Makes conforming changes to GS 32C-1-116. Makes a clarifying change to GS 32C-4-403.
Amends GS 101-2 to make a clarifying change.
Amends SL 2018-40, Section 8.2, by specifying that the effective date applies to testamentary distribution to a minor made on or after the effective date of January 1, 2019. Effective January 1, 2019.