Bill Summary for S 374 (2019-2020)

Summary date: 

Jun 18 2020

Bill Information:

View NCGA Bill Details2019-2020 Session
Senate Bill 374 (Public) Filed Wednesday, March 27, 2019
AN ACT TO ALLOW LOCAL BOARDS OF EDUCATION FLEXIBILITY WITH STATE BOARD OF EDUCATION APPROVAL IN THE USE OF REMOTE INSTRUCTION DURING THE FIRST WEEK OF THE 2020-2021 SCHOOL YEAR WHEN NEEDED TO ENSURE STUDENT HEALTH AND SAFETY DUE TO COVID-19.
Intro. by Wells, Brown.

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Bill summary

House committee substitute deletes the content of the 2nd edition and now provides the following.

Part I

Section 1

Amends GS 14-234(d1), which sets forth an exception for certain public officers from the prohibition against public officers or employees benefiting from public contracts. Increases the maximum allowable contract amount in a 12-month period under the exception from $40,000 to $60,000 for contracts for goods or services (other than medically related services) between the village; town; city; county social services board; county or city board of education; local health board or area mental health, developmental disabilities and substance abuse board; or public hospital and one of its officials, as described, approved by resolution of the governing body as required by existing law. 

Section 2

Requires that Section 2902.6 of the NC Building Code and Table 403.1 of the Plumbing Code be implemented to no longer require drinking fountains for an occupant load of 30 or fewer, only require one water closet for business occupancies with an occupational load of 30 or fewer, and no longer require a service sink for business and mercantile occupancies with an occupant load of 30 or fewer. Requires the Building Code Council to adopt rules to amend Section 2902.6 of the Building Code and Table 403.1 of the Plumbing Code consistent with this provision.

Section 3

Directs all occupational licensing boards that require continuing education to study any available options offered for online continuing education. Requires each licensing board's study and report to (1) list and describe options available to each licensee or an explanation as to why no online methods are offered, (2) include the approximate number of offerings made available for each method and associated costs, and (3) include a description of access by the licensee to each method. Requires the licensing boards to report to the specified NCGA committee and division by December 1, 2020.

Section 4

Enacts GS 160A-386.6 (concerning cities) and GS 153A-341.4 (concerning counties) to authorize a city or county to establish a process to permit temporary event venues, defined as an existing publicly or privately owned building or structure suitable for use as a site for public or private events relating to entertainment, education, marketing, meetings, sales, trade shows, and any other activities or occasions authorized by city or county ordinance, and limited to 72 hours. Allows the temporary event venue to be considered as a permitted accessory use in any zoning district and not considered a zoning map amendment. Allows only one temporary event venue per lot or parcel of land, and limits permitted venues to 24 temporary events in a calendar year. Details requirements for ordinances authorizing temporary event venues, including prescribing the process for persons seeking a temporary event venue permit or a renewal. Specifies that issuance of a temporary event venue permit is not a quasi-judicial act. Allows cities and counties to charge up to $100 for an initial permit and up to $50 for a renewal. Allows the city or county to require any concerns from the inspection to be addressed with reasonable measures and to require the use of temporary toilet facilities. Exempts permitted temporary event venues from requirements of the Building Code or any local variants. Requires compliance with federal laws, rules, and regulations. Directs the Building Code Council to create an inspection checklist for cities and counties to use. Allows cities and counties to conduct inspections and issue permits prior to the Council's promulgation of the checklist. Provides parameters for instances in which permittees seeking rezoning of the parcel to a zoning district that would allow a permitted use of the venue for events of the type authorized by a temporary event permit. Makes conforming changes to GS 143-138 (concerning the State Building Code) and GS 160A-383.1 (concerning city zoning regulations for manufactured homes). Effective October 1, 2020, and applies to counties with a population larger than 250,000.

Section 5

Requires the Division of Childhood Development and Early Education of the Department of Health and Human Services to post the following on its website: (1) education opportunities for kindergarten offered by local school administrative units, (2) educational opportunities for kindergarten offered by charter schools, and (3) scholarships for enrollment in non-public schools provided under Part 2A of Article 39 of GS Chapter 115C. Requires participating facilities to furnish this information upon request, and provide all families with the website. Effective January 1, 2021.

Section 6

Enacts new GS 115C-218.37, providing as follows. Designates the Superintendent of Public Instruction as an applicable elected representative (meaning an elected official of a governmental unit having jurisdiction over the area in which a charter school facility is located) who may approve the issuance of one or more private activity bonds to finance or refinance a charter school facility after a public hearing following reasonable public notice. Defines charter school facility as real property, personal property, or both used or intended for use in connection with the operation of a charter school.

Section 6

Amends GS 130A-294(a4), providing that a life-of-site permit will remain valid until its expiration date, and a sanitary landfill may continue to operate, if the owner or operator substantially complies with the terms of the local government approval or franchise agreement. Eliminates the requirement that the owner or operator must remain in compliance with the terms until the permit expires.

Section 7

Amends Section 13.2 of SL 2018-5, as amended, which requires up to $2 million of the funds credited to the Inactive Hazardous Sites Cleanup Fund to be used by the Division of Waste Management to provide a matching grant to Charlotte Motor Speedway LLC for remediation activities at the Speedway, now providing for a 1:1 rather than 1:2 match of State dollars to non-State dollars by the grant.

Section 8

Requires the Department of Environmental Quality to study and report on the need for additional positions and funding, and possible changes to laws, that would be necessary to expand the Department’s express permitting programs to encompass additional types of permits typically required for job creation, real estate development, and redevelopment activities. Requires a report to the specified NCGA committees and division by December 1, 2021.

Section 9

Amends GS 159G-23 to modify and add to the considerations the Division of Water Infrastructure (Division) is required to examine when evaluating applications for loans and grants from the Wastewater Reserve or the Drinking Water Reserve. Concerning priority for a project that improves designated impaired waters of the state, adds that greater priority is to be given to projects that improve designated impaired waters of the state that serve a public water supply for a large public water system, defined as serving more than 175,000 service connections. Adds that consideration for priority is to be given to projects improving regional coordination (previously, priority for local water supply plans that are better coordinated with respect to the State water supply plan). Lastly, adds that consideration for priority is to be given for wastewater system improvements made by a local government unit in order to protect or preserve the water supply of a neighboring local unit that has a lower poverty rate, lower utility bills, higher population growth, higher median household incomes, and lower unemployment. Applies to applications for loans or grants from the Wastewater Reserve or the Drinking Water Reserve received by the Division on or after July 1, 2020.

Section 10

Amends GS 143-215.54 to add aquaculture to the authorized uses for flood hazard areas without a permit so long as the use complies with local land use ordinances and any other applicable laws and regulations.

Section 11

Amends GS 83A-13 to exempt from architectural license for the preparation, sale, or furnishing of plans, specifications, and related data, or for the supervision of construction under such, of an institutional or commercial building that does not have a total value exceeding $200,000 (was, $90,000) or the total building area does not exceed 3,000 (was, 2,500) square feet in gross floor area. Makes changes to exempt from the requirement for a professional architectural seal a commercial building project with a total value less than $200,000 and a total project area less than 3,000 square feet.

Section 12

Requires the Department of Revenue to provide the Revenue Laws Study Committee with information on the property taxation of outdoor advertising signs. Requires that the review include the same information that the study was previously required to include and adds reviewing the practices in other states. Requires that the information be provided to the Committee by March 31, 2021.

Section 13

Amends GS 117-28.1(a), authorizing easements owned or used by electric membership corporations to be used to supply high-speed broadband in addition to electricification. Specifies that the subsection does not have any affect on any obligation of the corporation or its wholly owned subsidiary to comply with any applicable requirements related to notice, safety, or permitting when constructing or maintaining lines or broadband fiber on, over, under, or across property owned or operated by a railroad company. 

Section 14

Enacts GS 160A-383.1(g) to authorize cities to require by ordinance that manufactured homes be installed in compliance with the Set-Up and Installation Standards adopted by the Commissioner of Insurance, so long as the city does not require a masonry curtain wall or skirting for manufactured homes located on land leased to the homeowner. Effective October 1, 2020.

Section 15

Adds identical authorizations for licensed dealers to obtain a limited registration plate on behalf of a person purchasing a vehicle, notwithstanding obligations owed, to GS 20-54(6), (10), (11), (12), and (13), which prohibit the DMV from issuing vehicle registration or titles, or transfer registration for: (1) vehicles not in compliance with vehicle inspection requirements or unpaid outstanding related penalties; (2) owners with outstanding tolls, fees, or penalties assessed by the NC Turnpike Authority; (3) owners with outstanding fines or penalties resulting from failure to stop for a school bus; (4) owners with outstanding fees or penalties resulting from a lapse in financial responsibility for the operation of the vehicle; and (5) owners with outstanding fees or penalties resulting from violations of vehicle size, weight, construction, and equipment restrictions. 

Amends GS 20-79.1A, concerning criteria for the issuance of a limited registration plate. Adds a new requirement for a dealer to notify the purchaser of any outstanding civil penalties, fees, tolls, and obligations owed before the dealer applies for a title to a motor vehicle and a registration plate for the vehicle. 

Section 16

Requires the Division of Motor Vehicles (Division), in consultation with the Department of Insurance and interested parties, to conduct a study on salvage vehicle titles for the purpose of protecting consumers from purchasing flood-damaged vehicles with concealed damage. The study is to address the economic impact to consumers of any changes in the law recommended by the Division and consider any other issues deemed relevant to the title and registration of salvage vehicles. Requires the Division to report its findings and recommendations to the specified NCGA committees and division by March 1, 2021.

Section 17

Directs the Division of Emergency Management to consult with specified entities and study the needs of law enforcement, emergency medical and emergency management personnel, and firefighters to improve access to or within the interstate system in the state for the benefit of public safety. Details six required steps of the study, including determining potential sites of interest for construction or improvement and establishing criteria for prioritization. Requires the Division to report to the specified NCGA committees by March 1, 2022.

Section 18

Amends GS 83A-2, making technical changes regarding the member appointments to the NC Board of Architecture (Board) to delete obsolete language. Additionally, requires public notice of the Board's annual meeting to be published for at least two weeks on the Board's website, rather than published at least once each week for two weeks in one or more newspapers in general circulation in the state.

Amends GS 83A-5 to require the Board to maintain and publish a roster of all architects and architectural firms holding current licenses from the Board, with copies filed with the Secretary of State and the Attorney General only (was, published at least once a year with copies also filed with other applicable State or local agencies and upon request, distributed or sold to the public). Now authorizes the Board to make the roster available on the Board's website.

Amends GS 83A-7. Modifies the qualifications for application for examination (rather than qualifications for registration) as a duly licensed architect, now requiring practical training and experience as specified by Board rules (previously, specified at least three years of such experience), and the successful completion of an accredited master or bachelor degree in architecture as specified by Board rules (previously, generally required professional education). Maintains the requirement for successful completion of a licensure examination in architecture. Concerning licensing by reciprocity, requires an individual to hold a certified record (was, a certificate of qualification) issued by the National Council of Architectural Registration Board (NCARB) in addition to holding a current architect license from another state or territory. Specifies that the Board's authority to waive the NCARB certified record requirement is in the Board's discretion. 

Amends GS 83A-11 to specify that license renewal applications be transmitted, rather than mailed, as previously specified.

Section 19

Amends GS 58-41-15, concerning insurance cancellation, to make a clarifying and organizational change. Explicitly provides that proof of mailing is sufficient proof of notice of cancellation under the statute (rather than under subsection (b), which provides for notice requirements). Effective October 1, 2020.

Section 20

Amends GS 166A-19.31, regarding local emergency prohibitions and restrictions adopted by ordinance. Current law provides for such prohibitions and restrictions to take effect upon publication of the declaration. Specifies that publication includes at least one publication of a signed copy of the declaration conspicuously posted on the local government's website, and submission of notice and a signed copy of the declaration to the Department of Public Safety WebEOC critical incident management system.

Section 21

Amends GS 78A-45 and GS 78C-26 to establish state policy rendering an investor's financial information confidential and unavailable for inspection or examination by the public.

Amends GS 78A-50 and GS 78C-31 to specify that any records obtained by the Securities Administrator (Administrator) in connection with specified examinations, investigations, or actions, are not public record, unless the Administrator discloses for purposes of a civil, administrative, or criminal investigation, action, or proceeding or to a securities regulator, or local governmental law enforcement agency, to effectuate greater uniformity in securities matters. Adds that records voluntarily provided, but not required, to the Administrator on condition of nondisclosure are not public record. 

Section 22

Amends GS 97-133 to deem an individual self-insurer and a group self-insurer a member of the Association Aggregate Security System upon licensure, and require payment of the initial assessment over a period. 

Section 23

Extends the annual reporting requirement for the State Board of Education regarding charter schools, set out in GS 115C-218.110, from February 15 to June 15.

Section 24

Amends GS 160D-1106, regarding city approval of component and element design proposals, to clarify that the requirement for the submission to be completed under the valid seal of a licensed architect or licensed professional engineer only applies when required by the State Building Code.

Section 24.5

Disapproves of the following rules adopted by the Department of Health and Human Services on February 11, 2019: 10A NCAC 14J .0301 (Classification System and Total Design Capacity) and 10A NCAC 14J .1210 (Other Areas). 

Part II

Amends GS 113A-119(a) to allow electronic payments for development permits in areas of environmental concern under the Coastal Management Act of 1974.

Changes the annual reporting deadline for permitted mine reclamation operators under GS 74-55, from July 1 to September 1.

Changes the annual reporting deadline for the Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) to report on the status of solid waste management efforts, as set out in GS 130A-309.06, from January 15 to April 15. Adds to the reports' required content the use of funds for Superfund cleanups and inactive hazardous site cleanups. Changes the date by which DEQ must annually report to legislators on solid waste management pursuant to GS 130A-310.10 from October 1 to April 15. Makes conforming changes to specified GS Chapter 130A statutes and Section 15.6 of SL 1999-237. 

Amends Section 14.22 of SL 2013-360 to require DEQ to include the Joint Legislative Oversight Committee on Agriculture and Natural and Economic Resources among those to whom it reports regarding use of funds provided to the US Army Corps of Engineers under the Long Term Dredging Memorandum of Agreement. No longer includes reporting to the Joint Legislative Commission on Governmental Operations.

Section 28

Amends GS 130A-4 to require the Secretary of Environmental Quality to enforce the rules adopted by the Environmental Management Commission pursuant to Articles 9 and 10, concerning solid waste management and drinking water, in addition to those adopted by the Public Health Commission.

Amends GS 130A-22 to require the Environmental Management Commission to adopt rules concerning the imposition of administrative penalties that are under the authority of the Secretary of Environmental Quality.

Section 29

Corrects a statutory reference in GS 130A-295.6, regarding sanitary landfills.

Section 30

Changes the annual reporting requirement of the Roanoke River Basin Bi-State Commission under GS 77-98 to include the annual audit required by GS 77-96. Makes conforming changes to GS 77-96 to align the reporting deadline with that of GS 77-98. Changes the entities reported to now include the specified NCGA committee and division and as provided by the Commonwealth of VA.

Changes the annual reporting requirement of the River Basins Advisory Commission under GS 77-117 to include the annual audit required by GS 77-115. Makes conforming changes to GS 77-115 to align the reporting deadline with that of GS 77-117. Changes the entities reported to to now include the specified NCGA committee and division and as provided by the Commonwealth of VA.

Section 31

Amends GS 143-215.1 to expand the powers of the Environmental Management Commission to include issuing approvals by electronic delivery, registered or certified mail, or any other means authorized by Rule 4 of the NC Rules of Civil Procedure. 

Section 32

Expands GS 136-27.1 to include organized private water or sewer utilities serving 10,000 or fewer customers to those entitled to nonbetterment costs from the Department of Transportation for the relocation of water and sewer lines for a State transportation improvement project. Effective March 1, 2020, and applies to nonbetterment costs incurred on or after that date. Directs the Department to reimburse such costs incurred by qualifying organized private or sewer utilities after March 1, 2020.

Section 33

Directs the Environmental Management Commission to implement the UST Spill Bucket General Requirement Rule (15A NCAC 02N .0901) to allow spill buckets replaced on tanks prior to November 1, 2007, to use mechanical liquid detecting sensors for leak detection so long as specified regulations and statutory requirements are met. Requires the Commission to adopt a permanent rule consistent with this directive. Applies to spill buckets replaced on or after June 1, 2020.

Section 34

Stays the following rules adopted by the Building Code Council on March 10, 2020: 1102.7, 1102.2, 702.4, and 702.1 (all regarding the plumbing code).

Section 35

Amends GS 143B-68 to allow a dean, department chair, program director, or equivalent of a State or regionally accredited graduate school of librarianship in North Carolina to serve on the Public Librarian Certification Commission (was, limited to the dean).

Amends GS 143B-91 to allow, rather than mandate, advisory committees established by the Public Librarian Certification Commission to advise the Secretary of Natural and Cultural Resources, the Commission, and the State Librarian. No longer refers to standing committees. Requires committees to have four persons appointed by the committee chair, rather than six persons appointed by the Secretary of Natural and Cultural Resources.

Repeals GS 125-11.13, which requires certain governmental publications to be printed on acid-free paper.

Section 36

Amends Sec. 2.1 of SL 2019-224, which appropriated funding to the Wildlife Resources Commission to address abandoned and derelict vessels. Requires the Commission to comply with specific notice requirements before removing and disposing of a vessel and revise the definition of abandoned and derelict vessel.

Sections 37 and 38

Amends GS 160D-903, regarding bona fide farms exempt from local zoning regulations. Current law classifies a building or structure used for agritourism as a bona fide farm if certain requirements are met. Amends the definition provided for agritourism to include farms and ranches that allow member hunting, fishing, and equestrian activities. Corrects a statutory cross-reference. Effective when GS Chapter 160D becomes effective.

Amends GS 153A-145.8 and GS 160A-203.2 to reference the definitions set forth in GS 160D-903, as amended. Effective when GS Chapter 160D becomes law.

Makes conforming changes to the act's titles.

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