Bill Summary for H 1082 (2015-2016)

Summary date: 

May 10 2016

Bill Information:

View NCGA Bill Details2015-2016 Session
House Bill 1082 (Public) Filed Tuesday, May 10, 2016
AN ACT TO ELIMINATE THE USE OF THE ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT TIER STRUCTURE.
Intro. by Davis, Horn.

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Bill summary

Eliminates development tier designations:  Provides for the discontinuance of the use of the development tier designations determined by GS 143B-437.08 for all purposes and programs, including specifically listed programs, by the following departments and authority: Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services, the Department of Environmental Quality, the Department of Information Technology, the Department of Health and Human Services, the North Carolina Housing Finance Agency, the Department of Transportation, and the Department of Revenue.  Requires each entity to independently develop criteria to be used in place of development tier designations designed to achieve each program’s objectives.  Directs each entity to report the developed criteria by October 1, 2016, to the Fiscal Research Division and several other listed departments and committees.  Allows an entity required to discontinue use of the development tier designations by July 1, 2017, to use the last development tier designations published by the Department of Commerce until the earlier of developed replacement criteria or July 1, 2017.

Amends GS 143B-437.08 to replace the development tier designation with an economic distress index. Changes the title of GS 143B-437.08 to Economic distress index (currently, Development tier designation).  Amends GS 143B-437.08(b) to replace the development factor index with an index score that is the average of the following factors: (1) the average of: for rate of unemployment, the State’s average rate divided by the county’s average rate for the most recent 12 months; and for employment to population ratio, the county's ratio divided by the state's ratio for the most recent calendar year; (2) for medium household income, the county’s medium income divided by the state’s median for the most recent calendar year; (3) for average wage, the county’s average divided by the state’s average for the most recent 12 months, and (4) for percentage of adults 25 or older who have not received a high school diploma or equivalent, the state’s percentage divided by the county’s percentage for the most recent five year period. 

Directs the Secretary of Commerce to compute the index and rank and publish all the counties within the state according to their index score average from lowest to highest.  Amends GS 143B-437.08(d) to require the secretary of the Department of Commerce to measure rates of unemployment and average wage (was, median household income) by using the latest available data published by a state or federal agency generally recognized as having expertise concerning the data; and in measuring medium household income and educational attainment (was, population and population growth), to use the most recent estimates published by the United States Census Bureau (was, population certified by the State Budget Officer).  Eliminates the provision directing that population statistics do not include people incarcerated in federal or state prisons.  Eliminates GS 143B-437.08(e) through (j) to eliminate related provisions of the development tier designation.  Amends GS 143B-437.08(k) to make conforming changes to require the Secretary of Commerce to submit a report by November 30 of each year on the ranking (was, tier ranking), including a map of the state where the ranking (was, tier ranking) of each county is designated and individualized programmatic data concerning eligibility or other determinations using the ranking of each county is provided (was, map where the tier ranking of each county is designated).

Changes to statutorily set criteria for affected programs:  Amends GS 143B-431.01(d) to make conforming changes to nonprofit corporation board composition rules to reflect the change to the economic stress index in GS 143B-437.08, as amended, by replacing member appointment parameters based on the development tier system with parameters based on the economic stress index.  Eliminates the requirement to include the developed performance metrics of economic development functions itemized by development tier area designation pursuant to GS 143B-431.01(e)(2).  Amends GS 143B-431.01(k) to conform to the change from use of development tiers to economic stress index under GS 143B-437.08.

Amends GS 143B-437.01 to allow the Department of Commerce to use the rankings of the new economic stress index, under GS 143B-437.08 as amended, to determine local match requirements for purposes of the Industrial Development Fund Utility Account, which assists local government units of the most economically distressed counties in the state in creating jobs (previously, used development tiers).  Amends the definition of an economically distressed county as used for purposes of the Industrial Development Fund Utility Account to a county that, as the Department determines, using the rankings of GS 143B-437.08 (the economic stress index), is undergoing short- or long-term economic hardship.

Amends GS 143B-437.04(a) to allow the Department of Commerce to adopt guidelines to award Community Development Block Grants to ensure local match requirements, using the economic stress index rankings under GS 143B-437.08, are appropriate.

Amends GS 143B-437.07(a) to make conforming changes where the Department of Commerce is to report economic development grant information to include economic stress index rankings under GS 143B-437.08 (was, development tier designation).

Amends GS 143B-437.4 to eliminate preference for a project located in an eco-industrial park certified under the development tier, designated by GS 143B-437.08, in selecting between projects to receive grants from the NC Green Business Fund. 

Amends GS 143B-437.52 to make conforming changes to conditions required to be met for the Job Development Investment Program, where the new economic stress index rankings are to be used (was, development tier areas).  Eliminates the preference for an eco-industrial park designated under GS 143B-437.08 development tier system.  Makes conforming changes to GS 143B-437.53, GS 143B-437.55, and GS 143B-437.56 by replacing use of development tiers with economic stress index rankings under GS 143B-437.53 for the Job Development Investment Grant Program.  Eliminates maximum grant calculations based on development tiers and directs the Department of Commerce to use the economic stress index.  Eliminates definition of development tier from GS 143B-437.51.

Amends GS 143B-437.72 to eliminate the local government match formula for the One North Carolina Fund and instead directs the Department of Commerce to determine the local match requirement using the economic stress index ranking of GS 143B-437.08.

Amends GS 143B-472.35 to eliminate development tier limitations of the Main Street Solutions Fund grants and instead directs the Department to identify appropriate recipients of the assistance using the economic stress index ranking of GS 143B-437.08.

Amends GS 143B-472.127 and GS 143B-472.128 to eliminate development tier limitations for economic development grants or loans by the Rural Economic Development Division and instead uses the index rankings to determine economic distress. 

Amends GS 153A-15.1 and GS 158-7.3(a) to eliminate development tier criteria and replace with economic stress ranking criteria.

This section is effective November 30, 2016, and applies to economic development awards made and related determinations occurring on or after January 1, 2017.

Creates Commission:  Creates the North Carolina Commission on Economic Development for Distressed Communities (Commission) with 23 members, with 10 members appointed by the President Pro Tempore of the Senate with listed criteria for appointment; 10 members appointed by the Speaker of the House of Representatives with listed criteria for appointment; and three ex officio, nonvoting members.  Provides that the Secretary of Commerce or the Secretary’s designee will chair the Commission.

Directs the Commission to study North Carolina’s strategy for identifying and assisting economically distressed communities to develop a comprehensive state strategy to address chronic distress and target state aid to those communities, with listed objectives. 

Appropriates $200,000 for 2016-17 and $200,000 for 2017-18 from the General Fund to fund the Commission, and directs the Department of Commerce to assign personnel to assist the Commission.

Directs the Commission to submit a final report on the study and any recommendations or proposed legislation to the General Assembly no later than March 1, 2018, at which time the Commission will terminate.

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