Bill Summary for H 431 (2021-2022)

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Summary date: 

Mar 29 2021

Bill Information:

View NCGA Bill Details2021
House Bill 431 (Public) Filed Monday, March 29, 2021
Intro. by McNeely, Dixon, Hurley, Penny.

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Bill summary

Enacts Article 6 to GS Chapter 139, establishing the Streamflow Rehabilitation Assistance Program (Program), supervised and administered by the Soil and Water Conservation Commission (Commission). States the purpose of the program is to assist an eligible grantee in protecting and restoring the integrity of drainage infrastructure through routine maintenance to existing streams and drainage ways by removing blockages caused by accumulated debris or sediment. Permits using Program funds to provide nonfederal match for related disaster recovery activities federally funded. Defines eligible grantee to mean a Soil and Water Conservation District, a political subdivision (as defined) or a nonprofit organization. Establishes Commission duties under the Program, including establishing allocation criteria, developing application processes, and adoption of implementing rules. Caps State funding at $50,000 per project and requiring grantee matching based on economic development tier status, with ratios ranging from dollar to dollar, to one dollar for every three dollars of State funds. Requires the Commission to ensure that debris removed from streams with Program funds are either removed from the 100-year floodplain, as defined, or processed so that the debris would not pose a risk of blockage or significant impairment of normal streamflow during a subsequent flood event. Directs the Division of Soil and Water Conservation of the Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services (DACS) to annually submit a comprehensive report on the Program to the Commission and specified NCGA division as part of the report required by GS 106-850(e). Makes conforming changes to the Commissions duties set forth in GS 139-4.

Amends GS 14-234, which regulates public officers and employees' benefit from public contracts, to exempt applications for or the receipt of a grant under the Streamflow Rehabilitation Assistance Program from the statute's prohibitions. Makes organizational changes. 

Amends GS 139-4 and GS 139-8 to permit a Commission member, a direct supervisor, or an organization or unit of local government of which the member or supervisor is an employee, officer, or elected member of the governing body, to apply for and receive a grant under the Streamflow Rehabilitation Assistance Program, subject to existing voting restrictions and approval by the Commissioner of Agriculture (required under GS 139-4 only), or the Commission (required under GS 139-8 only). 

Transfers all remaining funds in the Coronavirus Relief Reserve not exceeding $10 million to the Coronavirus Relief Fund. Appropriates to the DACS the total amount of funds remaining in the Coronavirus Relief Fund as of July 1, 2021, not to exceed $5 million, for 2021-22 and $5 million for 2022-23, for cost-sharing grants under the Program. Requires the Commission to ensure that $50,000 is available to eligible grantees from each county, with unused funds awarded to an eligible grantee in another county with the same economic developmental tier ranking. Requires legislative appropriation of funds to provide $5 million in funding for 2021-22 and 2022-23, each, in the event the funds appropriated from the Coronavirus Relief Fund are insufficient. Effective July 1, 2021.

Appropriates $1.5 million from the General Fund to DACS for 2021-22 to support the Community Conservation Assistance Program. Restricts use of funds to provide cost-sharing funding for the installation of stormwater best management practices by nonagricultural land owners and land users. Effective July 1, 2021. 

Provides that appropriated funds do not revert.