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THAT PURPOSE; AND (8) PROVIDE A TAX FOR THE SEVERANCE OF ENERGY MINERALS FROM THE SOIL OR WATER OF THE STATE, REPEAL OUTDATED OIL AND GAS TAX STATUTES, AND AUTHORIZE THE SUSPENSION OF PERMITS FOR FAILURE TO FILE A RETURN FOR SEVERANCE TAXES.
Senate committee substitute makes the following changes to the 1st edition.
Amends the long title of this act. Changes the title ofPart I of this act to Creation of Collaboration for Prosperity Zones (was, Creation of Uniform Regional Divisions). Adds a new section, GS 143B-28.1, to establish geographically uniform zones (was, geographically uniform administrative regions)to (1) facilitate collaborative and coordinated planning and use of resources;(2) improve cooperation among governmental and nonprofit entities at the local and regional level;and (3) establish, to the extent that it is feasible to do so,one-stop sources in each region for citizens and businesses seeking state services at a regional level.Divides the state into eight zones (was, seven regions) to create collaboration for prosperity zones. Identifies the eight zones as follows and specifies the counties included in each zone: (1) Western Region, (2) Northwest Region, (3) Southwest Region, (4) Piedmont-Triad (Central) Region, (5) North Central Region, (6) Sandhills (South Central) Region, (7) Northeast Region, and (8) Southeast Region. Amends Section 1.(c) to require agencies to report to the Joint Legislative Commission on Governmental Operations and the Study Commission on Inter-Agency Collaboration for Prosperity by January 1, 2014,asto how they plan to abolish regions and transform them into prosperity zones as defined by this act. Effective July 1, 2013.
Enacts a new Part IIto abolishthe regional economic development commissions, repealing GS 158-8.1, 158-8.2, 158-8.3, 158-8.4, 158-8.4A, 158-8.5, 158-8.6, 158-8.7, 158-8.8, and 158-8.12. Makes conforming changes, repealing Article 4, North Carolina Eastern Region Act, of GS Chapter 158 and GS 120-123(62). Makes a conforming change to GS 143-506.10. Allows the specifiedeconomic development commissions to either reorganize as nonprofit organizations carrying out the same purposes but without receipt of appropriations from the state or to wind up their affairs. Amends GS 143B-431, adding new subsection (c1) to transfer the functions of the regional economic development commissions abolished in this act to the Department of Commerce (Department). Specifies the required duties and responsibilities of the Department and requires the Department to make an annual report by February 15 of each year to the Joint Legislative Commission on Governmental Operations summarizing the preceding year's program activities, objectives, and accomplishments under this subsection. Directs the Department to use available funds to carry out the requirements of this Part. Effective July 1, 2013.
Deletes provisions requiring specified agencies to conduct self-studies, requiringthe implementation of uniform regional divisions in programs administered by specified departments, andestablishing the Study Commission onRegionalization Conformity.
Requires the departments of Commerce, Environment and Natural Resources (DENR),and Transportation (DOT)to physically maintain co-located liaison personnel within each zone and prescribes the duties of the liaisons. Also requires the Community College System Office to designate a liaision in each zone. Specifies reporting requirements. Effective July 1, 2013, and expires July 1, 2017.
Creates the eight-memberStudy Commission on Inter-Agency Collaboration for Prosperity (Commission) toreview reports submitted by the following departments: Commerce, DENR, DOT, and the Community College System.Provides that the Commission may study and make recommendations to the 2014 Regular Session of the 2013 General Assembly on issues related to enhancing inter-agency collaboration, consolidating programs to streamline services, requiring the establishment of inter-agency one-stop shops in each zone, and reducing barriers faced by citizens and businesses in accessing services. Provides that the Commission terminates upon the filing of its report or on July 1, 2014, whichever is later.
Except as otherwise provided, this act is effective when it becomes law.