Bill Summary for H 760 (2015-2016)

Summary date: 

Apr 27 2015

Bill Information:

View NCGA Bill Details2015-2016 Session
House Bill 760 (Public) Filed Tuesday, April 14, 2015
AN ACT TO PROVIDE FURTHER REGULATORY RELIEF TO THE CITIZENS OF NORTH CAROLINA BY PROVIDING FOR VARIOUS ADMINISTRATIVE REFORMS, BY ELIMINATING CERTAIN UNNECESSARY OR OUTDATED STATUTES AND REGULATIONS AND MODERNIZING OR SIMPLIFYING CUMBERSOME OR OUTDATED REGULATIONS, AND BY MAKING VARIOUS OTHER STATUTORY CHANGES.
Intro. by Millis, J. Bell, Riddell.

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Bill summary

House committee substitute makes the following changes to the 1st edition.

Part I.

Further amends GS 130A-248(c1) to allow pushcarts or mobile food units that are based from a permitted commissary or restaurant located on the premises of a facility containing at least 3,000 permanent seats to prepare and serve food on the premises. Sets out requirements to be met for the preparation of raw meat, poultry and fish, and other sanitation requirements. 

Adds a new section amending GS 97-2, to exclude from definition of employee under the Workers' Compensation Act, any person performing voluntary service for a nonprofit subject to GS Chapters 47A Unit Ownership, 47C North Carolina Condominium Act, 47F North Carolina Planned Community Act, 55A North Carolina Nonprofit Corporation Act, or 59B Uniform Unincorporated Nonprofit Association Act, or exempt from federal income tax, as long as the person does not receive remuneration for the service.

Adds a new section enacting new GS 98B-8.2 prohibiting an occupational licensing board from contracting with or employing a person licensed by the board to serve an an investigator or inspector if the licensee is practicing in the profession or occupation the board has jurisdiction over. 

Part II.

Adds a new section amending GS 160A-272 to allow a city council to approve a lease for the siting an operation of communications towers, facilities or equipment, for up to 25 years without treating the lease as a sale of property and without giving notice by publication.

Adds a new section creating 16 member North Carolina Government-Nonprofit Contracting Task Force (Task Force) to study state governance of departmental operations and contracts and to streamline policies and practices that impeded the effective and efficient delivery of public services through State grants and contracts to private nonprofits. Sets out the membership requirements for the 13 voting and three non-voting, ex officio Task Force members. Sets out other provisions governing the Task Force's operations. Sets out further Task Force duties and establishes five issues that must be considered in the study. Requires the Task Force to submit a preliminary report to the Joint Legislative Commission on Governmental Operations by September 30, 2016, including specified information. Requires a final report to the same Commission by January 31, 2017. Effective July 1, 2015.

Adds a new section amending the Underground Damage Prevention Review Board (Board) as follows. Sets Board member terms at four years, and limits members to no more than two consecutive terms. Prohibits Board members from serving on a case where there would be a conflict of interest. Allows members to be removed by the Governor for cause. Establishes that eight members constitute a quorum, requires the Governor to designate a member as chair, and allows the Board to adopt rules. No longer requires the Board to meet quarterly. Removes language requiring the Board to act as an arbitrator between the parties. Requires the Board to review all reports of alleged violations and determine the appropriate action or penalty when the Board determines that a violation has occurred. Allows actions and penalties to include training, education and a maximum civil penalty of $2,500. Allows a person determined by the Board to have violated the Article to appeal the Board's determination by initiating an arbitration proceeding before the Utilities Commission (Commission) within thirty days of the Board's determination. Requires an appeal of the Commission's decision to be appealed within thirty days of entry of the Commission's order. Deletes the specified penalties for violations of the Article, and instead provides that in any arbitration proceeding before the Commission, any actions and penalties assessed against any person for violation of the Article must include the actions and penalties discussed above.

Adds a new section amending GS 153A-352 and GS 160A-412 as follows. Requires counties and cities to accept and approve a design or other proposal for a component or element in the construction of a building from a licensed architect or engineer if (1) the submission is completed under valid seal of the architect or engineer; (2) field inspection of the installation or completion of construction is performed by the architect or engineer, and (3) that architect or engineer provides a signed document stating the component or element of the building inspected is in compliance with the North Carolina State Building Code. Discharges the county, city, their inspection departments, and inspectors from any duties and responsibilities with respect to the component or element in the building construction when the signed document is accepted and approved. Makes clarifying changes. Makes conforming changes to GS 153A-356 and GS 160A-416.

Adds a new section amending GS 153A-346 and GS 160A-390 prohibiting counties and cities from defining dwelling units, bedrooms or sleeping units in a way that exceeds any definition of the same in another statute or rule adopted by a State agency.

Adds a new section amending GS 153A-349.4 and GS 160A-400.23 to allow counties and cities to enter into a development agreement with a developer for the development of property as provided in the Part. Requires the agreements to be of a reasonable term specified in the agreement (was, required the property to contain 25 acres or more of developable property with an exception for property subject to a brownfields agreement, and limited the agreements to no more than 20 years). Amends GS 153A-349.3 and GS 160A-400.22 to allow a development agreement to be incorporated into any planning, zoning or subdivision ordinance. Effective October 1, 2015, and applies to development agreements entered into on or after that date.

Part III.

Further amends GS 143-214.23 by adding that for purposes of new (b1) concerning exceeding minimum state requirements (was, concerning deviations from state requirements), the term existing local ordinance includes a zoning district, subdivision or development regulation, comprehensive plan, policy, resolution, or any other act carrying the effect of law. Also adds that the terms riparian areas and riparian buffer areas include all landward setbacks from a surface water body with State required riparian buffers. 

Amends GS 113-136(k) to delete the proposed language requiring an officer to have a reasonable suspicion that a violation has been committed before inspecting weapons, equipment, fish, or wildlife possessed incident to an activity regulated by law or rule that the officer has enforcement jurisdiction over.  Adds the requirement that the Wildlife Resources Commission study whether and under what circumstances reasonable suspicion that a violation has been committed must be required before inspecting weapons, equipment, fish, or wildlife. Requires a report on the study to the Joint Legislative Oversight Committee on Justice and Public Safety by March 1, 2016.

Adds a new section as follows. Repeals GS 113-174.3(e), which required each individual who obtained a for-hire license to submit logbooks summarizing catch and effort statistical data. Amends GS 113-224 to prohibit the Division of Marine Fisheries from entering into a joint enforcement agreement with the National Marine Fisheries Service. Repeals GS 128-1.1(c2) which allowed inspectors of the Division of Marine Fisheries to assume law enforcement powers granted to the National Marine Fisheries Service. Requires the Division of Marine Fisheries to conduct a 12 month process to get stakeholder input on (1) the cots and benefits of a logbook similar to the one repealed; and (2) the impacts, costs, and benefits of a joint enforcement agreement similar to the one now prohibited. Requires the establishment of a stakeholder advisory group that includes specified parties. Requires a report to the Environmental Review Commission by October 15, 2016.

Adds a section amending Section 21 of SL 2013-413 as follows. No longer requires that the term new animal waste management include a system serving a feedlot that has been abandoned or unused for a period of four years or more and is then put back into service). Requires the Environmental Management Commission  to revise its permanent rule on Swine Waste Management System Performance Standards so that it (1) applies to any farm that received a permit for its animal waste management system that allows a level of production at the farm greater than the largest production for which the farm has received a permit in the past and so that they also apply to any other animal waste management system otherwise subject to regulation under GS 143-215.10I; (2) does not apply to any facility that has had no animals on site for five continuous years or more; notifies the Division of Water Resources in writing at least 60 days before bringing any animals back to the site; and has all of the necessary permits before bringing the animals on site and the permit does not allow a level of production greater than the largest production for which the farm has received a permit in the past.

Adds new Part IIIB.

Amends the definition of small power producer in GS 62-3(27a) to include energy from other types of renewable resources. Amends GS 62-156, which governs the contracts between electric utilities and small power producers. Requires that standard contracts with these producers not exceed 100 kilowatts of capacity and not exceed 15 years. Requires that the rates paid by a utility to the producer not exceed the incremental cost to the utility (was limited to the energy cost). Provides that the contract may not require payment for capacity when the utility lacks a capacity need. Effective July 1, 2015, and applies to rates approved on or after that date.

Amends GS 62-133.8 to eliminate the authority of utilities to charge account holders a higher annual fee in 2015 and thereafter to recover costs related to REPS implementation (capped at 2012 amounts). Allows incremental costs incurred by an electric power supplier before July 1, 2015, to comply with GS 62-133.8 to be recovered as provided for in GS 133.8(h), as amended. Specifies what is included in the costs incurred before July 1, 2015. Applies to cost recovery proceedings occurring on or after July 1, 2015. 

Requires the Energy Policy Council, by May 1, 2016, to give the Joint Legislative Commission on Governmental Operations and the North Carolina Utilities Commission a comprehensive assessment of known and measurable costs and benefits to the electrical grid of distributed generation. Specifies what is to be included in the analysis. 

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