AN ACT TO MAKE BASE BUDGET APPROPRIATIONS FOR CURRENT OPERATIONS OF STATE DEPARTMENTS, INSTITUTIONS, AND AGENCIES, AND FOR OTHER PURPOSES.
House amendments make the following changes to the 4th edition, as amended.
Part VI. General Provisions
Amendment #59 adds a new section requiring that $20,615 for 2015-16 and $41,854 for 2016-17 of the funds appropriated in the act for a Pending Legislation Reserve be used to provide three scholarships for members of the Wounded Warrior Program to complete a motorsports technology, motorsports management, race car technology, or similar program or concentration at a community college in this state, a constituent institution of the University of North Carolina, or NASCAR Technical Institute Inc. during the 2015-16 fiscal year and an additional three scholarships during the 2016-17 fiscal year. Allows the State Education Assistance Authority (Authority) to use up to 3.5% to administer the scholarships with the remainder required to be used for the scholarships. Prohibits the maximum amount of a scholarship awarded to attend the NASCAR Technical Institute Inc. from exceeding the maximum amount that can be awarded for a scholarship to attend a community college at in-state tuition rates in this state. Requires the Authority to select the three recipients of the scholarships, and states the General Assembly’s intent that the recipients be North Carolinians with long-term, enduring connections to the state. Sets out eligibility requirements. Requires $20,000 for 2015-16 and $20,000 for 2016-17 of the funds appropriated in the act for a Pending Legislation Reserve to be used to market the availability of the scholarships to members of the specified programs. Provides that this section is effective only if House Bill 369 or substantially similar legislation becomes law. Makes conforming changes.
Part XIV. Department of Environment and Natural Resources
Amendment #58 adds a new section that does the following. Amends GS 143-215.94B by adding a new subsection (j) concerning the Commercial Leaking Petroleum Underground Storage Tank Cleanup Fund, providing that a contamination assessment plan and cost estimate for testing costs associated with soil and groundwater assessments must be submitted to the Department of Environment and Natural Resources in order to be eligible for reimbursement from the fund. Provides that the Department of Environment and Natural Resources cannot authorize any assessment activity unless the least-cost method is proposed for the activity. Also amends GS 143-215.94D by adding a new subsection (i) concerning the Noncommercial Leaking Petroleum Underground Storage Tank Cleanup Fund, providing that a contamination assessment plan and cost estimate for testing costs associated with soil and groundwater assessments must be submitted to the Department of Environment and Natural Resources in order to be eligible for reimbursement from the fund. Provides that the Department of Environment and Natural Resources cannot authorize any assessment activity unless the least-cost method is proposed for the activity.
Directs the Department of Environment and Natural Resources to develop an informal dispute resolution process for those eligible for reimbursement as provided above to work with the Department to resolve least cost methodology disputes in the contamination assessment plan approval process. Specifies what the process must include. Also requires the Department to review and revise its procedures for reimbursement of soil and groundwater assessment as specified. Requires the Department to report its findings and recommendations to the Environmental Review Commission no later than May 1, 2016.
Part XXI. Department of the State Treasurer
Amendment #56 adds a new section that directs the Department of the State Treasurer (Department) to use $350,000 of the funds appropriated to the Department for its Information Services account for the 2015-16 fiscal year to complete the funding for a data unit to establish a lapse assumption for the valuation of the Fire and Rescue Squad Workers Pension Fund.
Requires that conforming changes be made to adjust the appropriate totals accordingly.
Amendment #57 adds a new section that directs the Department of State Treasurer, Retirement Systems Division (Retirement Division), to create four full-time equivalent (FTE) positions to staff an administrative unit within the Retirement Division to administer the Achieving a Better Life Experience (ABLE) Program Trust. Identifies the task of this unit as administering the ABLE Program to enable contributors to save money to meet the costs of the qualified disability expenses of eligible individuals.
Provides that regardless of any other provisions of this act, the funds appropriated in this act for Pending Legislation in the Statewide Reserves is reduced by $935,000 for the 2015-16 fiscal year and $595,000 for the 2016-17 fiscal year to establish a Statewide Reserve for the ABLE Program. Specifies how the funds appropriated to the Statewide Reserve for the ABLE Program are to be allocated. Provides that this appropriation will not revert to the General Fund unless the ABLE Program Trust is not implemented by December 31, 2018. Provides that this section is only effective if House Bill 556, Achieving a Better Life Experience Act, 2015 Regular Session, or similar legislation becomes law.
Part. XXIX Department of Transportation
Amendment #61 amends Section 29.16 regarding the allocation of contraction resurfacing funds for fiscal years 2015-16 and 2016-17 to the Department of Transportation (Department) to require the Department to allocate the funds to each county in the state based on pavement condition scores formulated by the Department (was, provided that the funds be allocated equally to each county).
Part XXXI. Capital Projects
Amendment #60 adds Section 31.5(e) requiring that $200,000 of the funds allocated to the UNC Board of Governors in 31.5(a) for 2015-16 be used for repairs to the World War Memorial Stadium at North Carolina Agriculture and Technical State University.
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