AN ACT TO (1) PERMIT THE DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE TO CONTRACT WITH A NORTH CAROLINA NONPROFIT CORPORATION FOR THE PERFORMANCE OF CERTAIN ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT FUNCTIONS; (2) MODIFY THE NORTH CAROLINA BOARD OF SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY; (3) CREATE COLLABORATION FOR PROSPERITY ZONES; (4) REQUIRE CERTAIN LIAISONS IN EACH COLLABORATION FOR PROSPERITY ZONE; (5) STUDY COMMISSION ON INTERAGENCY COLLABORATION FOR PROSPERITY; (6) MODIFY REPEAL OF CERTAIN REGIONAL ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT COMMISSIONS; (7) AUTHORIZE THE DEPARTMENT OF ENVIRONMENT AND NATURAL RESOURCES TO ISSUE PERMITS ON OR AFTER JULY 1, 2015, FOR OIL AND GAS EXPLORATION AND DEVELOPMENT ACTIVITIES IN THE STATE, INCLUDING THE USE OF HORIZONTAL DRILLING AND HYDRAULIC FRACTURING TREATMENTS FOR THAT PURPOSE; AND (8) PROVIDE A TAX FOR THE SEVERANCE OF ENERGY MINERALS FROM THE SOIL OR WATER OF THE STATE, REPEAL OUTDATED OIL AND GAS TAX STATUTES, AND AUTHORIZE THE SUSPENSION OF PERMITS FOR FAILURE TO FILE A RETURN FOR SEVERANCE TAXES.
House committee substitute makes the following changes to the 3rd edition.
Changes the short and long title.
Part I, Authorize Contracting of Economic Development Functions by the Department of Commerce
Enacts new section GS 143B-431A, Department of Commerce - contracting of functions, providing that the purpose of this new section is to establish a framework whereby the Department of Commerce (Department) can support one or more nonprofit corporations, through financial and other means, that will render advisory, research, recruiting recommendations concerning incentives or grants for jobs and business development, as well as consultation on the development of a long-range strategic plan for economic development, through public and private means.
Authorizes the Department to contract with one or more NC nonprofits to perform one or more of the Department's functions, powers, duties, or obligations. Sets out the functions that the Department cannot contract for with the nonprofits, including the administration of unemployment insurance and functions set forth in GS 143B-431(a)(2). Establishes the Economic Development Oversight Committee (Committee) to provide oversight over the newly contracted services. Provides the Committee will have seven ex officio members; sets out who will serve as the seven members, including the Secretary of Transportation and the Secretary of Revenue. Provides that the Committee must meet at least quarterly and sets out the duties of the Committee, including receiving, reviewing, and referring complaints and requesting enforcement of the contract by the Attorney General.
Sets out requirements that must be met prior to contracting with any NC nonprofit including specific requirements concerning the makeup and diversity of the nonprofit's governing board and a requirement that any amount of state funds that can be used for the annual salary of any one employee of the nonprofit cannot exceed the amount provided for in the most recent Operations Appropriations Act of the General Assembly (currently $120,000). Sets out six mandatory contract terms, which must be included in any contract entered into under this new section, including provisions requiring the nonprofit to provide copies of the nonprofit's annual audited financial statements to specified parties and a certification by the nonprofit that it is in compliance with the requirements of GS Chapter 55A.
Requires the Department, by September 30 of each year, to submit a report on the contracted performances to the Joint Legislative Commission on Governmental Operations, the Joint Legislative Economic Development and Global Engagement Oversight Committee, and the Fiscal Research Division. Sets out what the report must contain, including copies of the reports required to be given to the Department by the contracted nonprofits and any other information determined to be necessary or specifically requested in writing. Provides that the contracted nonprofits are subject to the public information requirements of GS Chapter 132 and Chapter GS 143 for meetings in which the corporation recommends a grant of State funds.
Repeals GS 143B-434, concerning the Economic Development Board. Amends GS 143B-434.01, concerning the Comprehensive Strategic Economic Development Plan, adding and defining the term "Secretary" for use in the section, meaning the Secretary of Commerce. Provides that the Secretary is tasked with preparing the Comprehensive Strategic Economic Development Plan, reviewing and updating the existing plan on or before April 1 of each year (previously, the Board was tasked with preparing the plan). Establishes, notwithstanding the above provisions, the board will prepare the Comprehensive Strategic Economic Development Plan by December 31, 2013. Makes conforming and clarifying changes to the section in response to the Secretary's new assigned duties. Amends GS 143B-431A, as newly enacted above, effective January 1, 2014, providing four new requirements for the governing board of a contracting nonprofit, including requiring the board to provide advice concerning economic and community development planning for the state and requiring the board to annually recommend to the Governor biennial and annual appropriations for economic development programs. Repeals GS 143B-437.03, concerning the allocation of economic development responsibilities. Above changes effective January 1, 2014.
Directs the Department to study and develop a plan for contracting with one or more NC nonprofit corporations for the performance of economic development and tourism marketing activities and duties. Requires the Department to consult with various stakeholders and consider the benefits and costs of implementing such a plan. Requires a schedule for implementation of contracting services to be developed. Also requires a report to be made to the Joint Legislative Commission on Governmental Operations no later than March 1, 2014, and prior to the entering into of any contract pursuant to GS 143B-431A.
Amends GS 126-5(c2), providing a new subdivision concerning those subject to the provisions of the state personnel system, providing that officers and employees of a NC nonprofit that contracts with the Department pursuant to GS 143B-431A are not subject to the provisions of GS 126-5.
All above changes, unless otherwise noted, are effective July 1, 2013.
Part II, Modify North Carolina Board of Science and Technology
Renames the Department's North Carolina Board of Science and Technology to North Caroline Board of Science, Technology, and Innovations. Amends the board's duties and powers to include advising and making recommendations to any NC nonprofit with which the Department contracts pursuant to GS 143B-431A on the role of science, technology, and innovation. Provides new requirements in regards to the makeup of the board's members, providing that the board will have 23 (was, 17) members, requiring one of the members from the components of the University of North Carolina to be from a historically black college or university, one member to be from the NC Community College System, one member representing K-12 public education, and an additional seven at-large members. Makes conforming and clarifying changes.
Part III, Creation of Collaboration for Prosperity Zones
Amends the purpose of Collaboration for Prosperity Zones to include receiving advice on economic development issues by local boards established by a NC nonprofit corporation with which the Department contracts. Alters the counties that are included in each of the eight Prosperity Zones.
Part IV, Require at Least One Liaison in Each Collaboration for Prosperity Zone
Provides a deadline of January 1, 2014, for the Department, DENR, and DOT to physically maintain co-located liaison personnel within each zone and for the Community College System Office to designate a liaison in each zone. Provides that the previously required and specified reports from DOT, DENR, and the Community Colleges System Office, concerning the establishment of collocated liaisons within each Collaboration for Prosperity Zone and a description of the activities the liaisons have been assigned to perform, must be submitted by January 1, 2014 (was, October 1, 2013).
Part VI, Regional Economic Development Commissions/Statutes Creating Commissions Repealed
Repeals Article 2 (Economic Development Commissions) and Article 4 (North Carolina's Eastern Region) of GS Chapter 158.
Provides that upon the dissolution of North Carolina's Eastern Region (Region), the governing body of the entity must liquidate all the assets of the Region to the extent possible and distribute them to the counties of the Region in proportion to the amount of the vehicle registration tax levied by the commission and collected in each county. Any assets that exceed the amount of the registration tax collected by the counties and are attributable to an appropriation made to the Region by the General Assembly must revert to the General Fund and cannot be distributed to the counties. Counties can only use the funds distributed to them, pursuant to this subsection, for economic development projects and infrastructure construction projects. Sets out the formula and process for determining the amount that should be refunded to each county, allocating first the amounts loaned and not yet repaid. Notes and other instruments possessing the right to repayment will be held and collected by the State Treasurer. Assets that are unable to be liquidated will be distributed to the point practicable on an equitable basis.
Amends GS 120-123, concerning service by members of the General Assembly on certain boards or commissions; GS 143-215.42, concerning the acquisition of lands; GS 143-506.10; concerning the designation of growth centers; and GS 153A-398, concerning regional planning and economic development commissions, making clarifying and conforming changes.
Allows the Revisor of Statutes to correct any reference and make other conforming changes where necessary. Provides that if Senate Bill 402 (Appropriations Act) of the 2013 Regular Session becomes law and appropriates money to the regional economic development commissions, then the Department must retain 50% of the appropriation for state marketing and rebranding purposes. Provides that no funds will be disbursed to the regional economic commissions after December 31, 2013.
Part VI effective January 1, 2014.