Bill Summary for S 105 (2021)

Summary date: 

Aug 11 2021

Bill Information:

View NCGA Bill Details2021
Senate Bill 105 (Public) Filed Wednesday, February 17, 2021
AN ACT TO MAKE BASE BUDGET APPROPRIATIONS FOR CURRENT OPERATIONS OF STATE AGENCIES, DEPARTMENTS, AND INSTITUTIONS.
Intro. by B. Jackson, Harrington, Hise.

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Bill summary

House amendments make the following changes to the 5th edition. 

Part IV. Other Availability and Appropriations 

Section 4.4A

Amendment #1 deletes the proposed directive requiring the NC State Lottery Commission to study the use of video lottery terminals in other jurisdictions and the legal and operational issues involved in using video lottery terminals in this state; estimating the potential revenues that could be derived from the deployment of video lottery terminals in this state, if allowed by law; and reporting legislative recommendations to the specified NCGA committees and division by February 1, 2022. 

Part V. General Provisions

Section 5.9

Amendment #2 makes the following changes to the allocation of appropriated funds from the State Emergency Response and Disaster Relief Fund for 2021-22. Reduces the $20 million allocation to $5 million to the Office of State Budget and Management to Habitat for Humanity of NC, Inc., as a grant to support efforts for affordable homeownership. Adds to the allocations $15 million for the Department of Insurance to establish and administer a pilot program in the 2021-22 fiscal year to provide health benefits to firefighters diagnosed with cancer on or after January 1, 2022. 

Part VII. Public Instruction

Section 7.19

Amendment #16 reduces the funds appropriated by the act for 2021-23 to the Department of Public Instruction for the School Safety Grants Program by $305,000 in recurring funds for each year of the fiscal biennium.

Section 7.27

Amendment #8 revises the proposed changes to Section 3.5 of SL 2021-25 (Additional COVID-19 Response & Relief) concerning the authorized uses of the Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief Fund funds by the Department of Public Instruction (DPI) pursuant to the American Rescue Plan Act. Now provides for $10 million of the funds to be reserved and used for the deployment of a competency-based education platform that enables the development of credit by demonstrated mastery for students for grades two through twelve (was, grades seven through twelve) for credit recovery or acceleration to address various education delivery methods during the COVID-19 pandemic. Additionally, modifies the use of the $800,000 reserved to establish a pilot program in response to the pandemic to improve teacher quality and mitigate learning loss by providing a forgivable loan to teachers employed in qualifying public schools during 2021-23 to finance the cost of the participation fee for National Board for Professional Teaching Standards (NBPTS) certification. Revises the pilot program to instead provide for grants to such teachers to reimburse the cost of the NBPTS participation fee. Changes the program's criteria to now bar the Department of Public Instruction from requiring a teacher to complete the certification process in order to receive a grant (previously, required the teacher to have completed the certification process and remain teaching in a qualifying public school for at least four years from the date of completion, and provided two circumstances in which a teacher can have the loan forgiven if the teacher is unable to complete the certification process or remain teaching in a qualifying school for at least four years). Makes conforming changes. 

Section 7.73

Amendment #8 decreases the allocation of funds appropriated to the Department of Public Instruction to provide for the equipment and costs associated with the "ApSeed" pilot project established by the act, decreasing the amount to $1,075,831 from $2,575,831. Makes conforming adjustments. 

Section 7.82

Amendment #16 increases the funds appropriated by the act for 2021-23 to the Department of Public Instruction by $305,000 in recurring funds in each year of the fiscal biennium to increase salary supplement rates for licensed employees of schools for students with visual and hearing impairments, as defined, to align those rates with the average salary supplement rates provided to teachers employed by the local school administrative unit where each respective school for students with visual or hearing impairments is located.

Part VIII. The University of North Carolina System

Section 8.20

Amendment #10 adds the following section. Requires that of the funds appropriated in the act to the University of North Carolina Board of Governors (BOG) for the 2022-23 fiscal year for the North Carolina Food Innovation Laboratory at the NC Research Campus in Kannapolis, that $150,000 in nonrecurring funds for 2022-23 be allocated to NC State University for grants to create beekeeping programs for high school chapters of Future Farmers of America (FFA). Specifies purchases eligible for grant funding include: materials to house honeybee colonies; protective gear and other equipment necessary for beekeeping; queens, honeybee packages, and nucleus colonies; and the registration and course materials for courses certified by the NC State Beekeepers Association for two persons per grant. Caps grants at $1,500 per county with FFA chapters responsible for matching funds as required by DACS. Requires grant fund recovery if the beekeeping program is not maintained for at least three school years. Authorizes NC State University to spend up to $15,000 for administrative costs. Makes conforming changes.

Amendment #16 directs that $500,000 of the funds appropriated by the act from the State Fiscal Recovery Fund to the Community Colleges System Office for 2021-22 fiscal year for the apprenticeship program expansion to instead be appropriated to the UNC Board of Governors to be allocated to the UNC Pembroke to continue the operation of the Mobile Medical Units in rural and at-risk communities to respond to the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic. 

Part IX. Health and Human Services

Part IX-D. Health Benefits

Section 9D.15C.

Amendment #5 adds the following new section. Requires the Department of Health and Human Services, Division of Health Benefits, to report by March 1, 2022, and then annually for the next five years, to the specified NCGA committee on six items regarding direct care workers who serve Medicaid beneficiaries receiving services through the NC Innovations waiver program, including Statewide data on the number of these licensed and non-licensed direct care workers by worker classification, identification of providers that employ these direct care workers, and an assessment of whether the wages of licensed direct care workers, non-licensed direct care workers, or both need to be increased (requires that if it is determined that if there is a need for an increase in wages, then the Division must develop a plan, or update to a previously submitted plan as applicable, for such increase).

Part IX-F. Mental Health/Developmental Disabilities/Substance Abuse Services

Section 9F.18

Amendment #16 decreases the funds appropriated in the act to the Department of Health and Human Services, Division of Mental Health, Developmental Disabilities, and Substance Abuse Services for directed grant to Gigi's Playhouse, Inc., for the location in Charlotte, by $400,000 in nonrecurring funds for the 2021-22 fiscal year, and provides for $400,000 to the Division to be used for a directed grant to Gigi's Playhouse, Inc., for the location in Raleigh.

Part IX-K. HHS Miscellaneous 

Section 9K.4

Amendment #1 deletes the proposed changes throughout Article 17 of GS Chapter 90, regarding the licensure of dispensing opticians. 

Part XI. Commerce

Section 11.14

Amendment #16 amends the allocation of the funds appropriated from the State Fiscal Recovery Fund to the Office of State Budget and Management for 2021-22 to provide for $10 million to Richmond County rather than the City of Rockingham for water and sewer and related infrastructure projects for service to the Rockingham Speedway.

Part XII. Environmental Quality 

Section 12.13

Amendment #4 revises the required allocations of the $300 million allocated for the Drinking Water Reserve and the Wastewater Reserve to provide project construction grants for public water systems and wastewater systems that the Department of Environmental Quality categorizes as at-risk, from the funds appropriated in the act from the State Fiscal Recovery Fund to the Department of Environmental Quality for the Water Infrastructure Fund. Now requires allocating $3 million to the Town of Boonville rather than Yadkin County for water and wastewater infrastructure projects.

Amendment #16 specifies that the $10 million allocated to the City of Greensboro is for the extension of water and sewer lines to the National Guard site on Camp Burton Road, and that the $801,983 allocated to the Town of Valdese is for the extension of water and sewer lines to serve proposed residential and commercial development on Lake Rhodhiss.

Section 12.15

Amendment #1 deletes the proposed changes to GS 143-212, GS 143-215.1, and Section 4.18 of SL 2015-286, exempting activities in wetlands, as defined, that are not waters of the United States from permits required under GS 143-215.1, except isolated wetlands, as defined, that are either basins or bogs as described in the identified North Carolina Wetland Assessment User Manual prepared by the North Carolina Wetland Functional Assessment Team.

Section 12.22

Amendment #16 allocates $1.5 million in nonrecurring funds of the funds appropriated by the act to the Shallow Draft Navigation Channel Dredging and Aquatic Weed Fund for 2021-22 to Haywood County for the dredging of Lake Junaluska; specifies that no matching funds are required for these funds. 

Part XIV. Natural and Cultural Resources

Section 14.8A

Amendment #16 places the following restrictions upon specified funds provided in the act as follows. Mandates that funds provided to the Foothills Conservancy for facility development be used for the planning and development of Oak Hill Community Park. Requires that funds provided to the Towns of Connelly Springs, Drexel, Glen Alpine, Longview, and Rutherford College be allocated to provide $10,000 to the Town of Long View and $25,000 to each of the other towns. Additionally, requires that the funds provided to the Western Piedmont Council of Governments for trail development be allocated as follows: (1) $325,000 for the development, planning, and construction of a proposed trail along the south side of the Catawba River connecting two specified trails; (2) $60,000 for development of a trail connecting the Town of Rhodhiss to the described trail; and (3) $80,000 to assist the Town of Hildebran in planning and development of one or more trails connecting the Town to the described trail or a future route of the Wilderness Gateway Trail.

Part XV. Wildlife Resources Commission

Section 15.2

Amendment #15 requires $500,000 of the funds appropriated to the Department of Commerce for the Job Maintenance and Capital Development Fund to be transferred to the Wildlife Resources Commission for Chronic Wasting Disease surveillance and response. 

Part XVI. Administrative Office of the Courts

Section 16.8

Amendment #7 makes the following changes to the version of GS 7A-60(a1) that will be effective on January 1, 2023 . Changes the counties listed in prosecutorial district to Burke, Caldwell, and Catawba (previously, excluded Catawba) and changes the number of full-time assistant district attorneys to 21 (was, 11). Makes conforming changes.

Part XIX. Public Safety

Part XIX-A. Department of Public Safety Administration

Section 19A.11

Amendment #16 reduces the funding provided to the State Bureau of Investigation for the purchase of an aircraft to assist in carrying out its law enforcement duties by $5,176,200 in nonrecurring funds for 2021-22. Directs that of the funds appropriated in the act to the Department of Public Safety (DPS) for 2021-22, DPS must use up to $1.5 million to study the siting of the Eastern Regional Laboratory to be located on the campus of Elizabeth City State University. Requires DPS to report to the specified NCGA committee chairs and division by February 1, 2023. Specifies required content of the report. Requires partnering with ECSU to conduct the study.

Part XXIV. Budget and Management - Directed Grants

Section 24.1G

Amendment #16 redirects the funds appropriated to the Office of State Budget and Management (OSBM) and allocated as a directed grant to Harnett County for Dunn Ministerial Association, Inc., to instead appropriate the funds to OSBM to be allocated as a directed grant to Harnett County Partnership for Children, Inc.

Part XXX. Insurance

Section 30.4

Amendment #2 directs the Department of Insurance (DOI) to establish and administer a pilot program to provide supplemental health benefits to eligible firefighters with a new diagnosis of cancer on or after January 1, 2022. Provides for the program to end on June 30, 2023, but requires claims for health benefits filed by that date to be paid as long as funds appropriated for the pilot program are available. Defines cancer, eligible firefighter, fire department, and firefighter. Limits eligibility to firefighters who have (1) served an NC fire department for a minimum of five continuous years; (2) received a new diagnosis of cancer on or after January 1, 2022, with restrictions specified; and (3) have filed a claim with DOI seeking benefits under the provisions by June 30, 2023. Subject to funding availability, provides for the program's benefits, including up to $12,000 for out-of-pocket expenses incurred; a $25,000 lump sum benefit for each diagnosis, up to $50,000, subject to verification requirements; and disability benefits ranging from the lesser of 75% of a nonvolunteer firefighter's monthly salary or $5,000, or $1,500 monthly for volunteer firefighters, subject to verification requirements. Establishes limitations on the disability benefits provided under the program, including a cap of receipt at 36 consecutive months, subjection to reevaluation, and termination upon determination of ability to perform duties. Requires DOI to report to the NCGA and the Governor on January 1, 2023, and July 1, 2023. Specifies required content of the reports. Effective January 1, 2022.

Directs DOI to show proof of insurance coverage that meets the requirements of the above provisions for all firefighters included on the Certified Roster submitted to the NC State Firefighters' Association by January 1, 2022.

Part XXXV. Secretary of State

Section 35

Amendment #16 amends GS 145-5 by adopting the black bear as the office State mammal (was, the gray squirrel). 

Part XXXVIII. Information Technology

Section 38.3

Amendment #9 makes the following changes. Adds to the items that must be included in the Department of Information Technology’s cybersecurity plan to include a summary of all cybersecurity funds received and how those have been used, current gaps in funding, and how prospective funds will be spent (was, how those have been used and will be used). Also requires the plan to include the scope of activities and services planned to: (1) reduce the risks of cybersecurity incidents and significant cybersecurity incidents in the State; (2) mitigate and address cybersecurity incidents and significant cybersecurity incidents that have occurred); (3) support business application modernization efforts; and (4) provide continuous monitoring of critical applications and maintain federal and state compliance requirements (was, (1) prevent cybersecurity incidents and significant cybersecurity incidents in the State and (2) mitigate and address cybersecurity incidents and significant cybersecurity incidents that have occurred). 

Section 38.10

Amendment #16 makes the following revisions concerning the Broadband Pole Replacement Program established by the act. Amends the provision that sets out items to be included in the calculating the cap on the sum that to be reimbursed to a pole owner when there are insufficient funds in the Program and the communications service provider must reimburse reasonable and actual costs, by adding that a municipality or membership corporation may also assess and include in its incremental costs a resource redeployment charge equal to 9% of the calculated actual, direct costs and overhead. Adds that the resource redeployment charge is intended to hold neutral a municipality’s or membership corporation’s electric consumers from increased electric rates attributable to otherwise uncaptured costs arising from compliance with the section's requirements. Previously, required a pole owner to perform or allow providers to perform all actions to facilitate access to poles for qualified projects in the same time lines and pursuant to the same procedures under federal regulations at the time the program becomes law, with replacement considered work above the communications space. Now provides the following instead. Requires a pole owner to promptly review a request for access, perform surveys, provide estimates and final invoices, and complete or require the completion by other attaching entities of any make-ready work necessary for purposes of offering broadband service in an unserved area. Requires owners to provide a good-faith estimate for any make-ready costs to the communications service provider within 60 days of receipt of a completed application for access, along with documentation if requested by the service provider. Deems a good-faith estimate valid for 14 days. Requires written acceptance and payment of the good-faith estimate for valid acceptance. Provides time lines for required completion of make-ready work based on the quantity of utility poles for the request for access, ranging from 90 days of written acceptance and payment for up to 30 poles, and a reasonably timeframe mutually agreed upon for more than 30 poles and conditioned on payment of the good-faith estimate; specifies authority to deviate from these time limits as necessary based on good and sufficient cause, subject to notice requirements. Allows for an owner to treat multiple request from a single communications provider as one application for access if filed within 90 days of one another. Changes the sunset of the Broadband Pole Replacement Program, subsections (b) through (k) of Section 38.10, from December 31, 2026, to December 31, 2024. 

Part XXXIX. Salaries and Benefits 

Section 39.9

Amendment #6 deems temporary employees of the NCGA employed pursuant to GS 120-32(1) (providing for NCGA departments and employment conditions governed by the Legislative Services Commission) eligible to receive the bonuses awarded by Section 39.2, which provides for three types of bonuses for certain State employees employed during the COVID-19 pandemic within parameters specified. 

Part XL. Capital

Section 40.1

Amendment #14 add the following section. Requires that of the funds appropriated in this Part for grants to non-State entities, the following grants allocated in this Part for the 2021-11 are amended as follows: (1) reduces the amount allocated to Tri-County Community College Workforce Program Equipment by $750,000; (2) reduces the amount allocated to Tri-County Community College Truck Driver Training Equipment by $50,000; (3) reduces the amount allocated to Tri-County Community College Dental Assisting Equipment by $50,000; and (4) reduces the allocation to Tri-County Community College Cultural and Historical Engagement Center by $250,000. Allocates $1.1 million for 2021-22 from funds appropriated to the State Capital and Infrastructure Fund to provide a grant to Southwestern Community College for the expansion of the Macon County Campus facility and the addition of a new science classroom. Makes conforming changes.

Amendment #16 makes the following changes.

Deletes the assignment of a project code for the following projects, which are for references to allocation in this Part, past allocations, and for intended project support by the NCGA for future fiscal years and deletes the corresponding funding allocation: (1) General Assembly Covered Walkway; and (2) Elizabeth City State University Crime Lab.

Reduces the amount allocated for the Elizabeth City State University Crime Lab project from the State Capital and Infrastructure Fund by $2.5 million in nonrecurring funds for 2021-22.

Allocates $700,000 in nonrecurring funds for 2021-22 from the funds appropriated to the State Capital and Infrastructure Fund as follows: (1) $400,000 as a grant to the Town of Catawba for bridge restoration and (2) $300,000 as a grant to the town for sidewalks.

Makes the following changes to funds appropriated in this Part for grants to non-State entities for 2021-22: (1) reduces by $200,0000 Town of Candor Downtown facilities; (2) reduces by $20,000 Town of Dobbin Heights Community Center Renovation; (3) reduces by $50,000 Town of Hamlet Downtown Facilities; and (4) reduces by $30,000 Town of Troy Main Street/Community Park.

Allocates $300,000 for 2021-22, from funds appropriated to the State Capital and Infrastructure Fund, as a grant to the City of Rockingham for downtown improvements.

Changes the recipient of the allocation of a $130,000 grant for equipment for 2021-22 from the State Capital and Infrastructure Fund from the Town of Fairfield to Pender County.

Reduces the amount allocated for the NCGA Covered Walkway project from the State Capital and Infrastructure Fund by $3 million for 2021-22 and $5 million for 2022-23.

Part XLI. Transportation

Section 41.17

Amendment #16 adds that the Department of Transportation may contract with an outside consultant to conduct the 10-year Facilities Plan for current and future facility needs. Changes the date by which the Department must report to the specified NCGA committees and division from March 1, 2022, to March 1, 2023.

Section 41.53

Amendment #16 amends GS 143-64.24 to allow the North Carolina State Ports Authority to only contract for a consultant’s services after the proposed contract is approved by the Board of the North Carolina State Ports Authority (this replaces the proposed three conditions that had to be met when contacting for consultant services).

Section 41.58

Amendment #13 adds the following section. Amends GS 20-53.5 to no longer require, for the registration and issuance of a certificate of title for an HMMWV (Humvee), that the applicant provide the Division of Motor Vehicles with a sworn affidavit from a manufacturer, motor vehicle dealer, or seller of the HMMWV certifying that the vehicle complies with all applicable federal motor vehicle safety standards for vehicles designed for highway use. Effective October 1, 2021, and applies to applications for registration and certificate of title submitted on or after that date.

Makes conforming organizational changes. 

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