Bill Summary for H 205 (2023-2024)
|View NCGA Bill Details||2023-2024 Session|
AN ACT PROVIDING FOR GREATER TRANSPARENCY IN AND MAINTENANCE OF STATE AND LOCAL GOVERNMENT FINANCIAL MATTERS.Intro. by Penny, Winslow.
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House committee substitute to the 1st edition makes the following changes.
Deletes the changes to GS 115C-442 that barred appointment as a finance officer of a board of education if the person is unable to obtain a fidelity bond in the amended amount.
Further amends GS 132-1, which defines public records of agencies of the State or its subdivisions, by adding a prohibition on agencies of North Carolina government or its subdivisions from entering into a non-disclosure agreement in order to restrict access to public records subject to disclosure under GS Chapter 132. Make public record the contract by which an agency of North Carolina government or its subdivisions agrees not to disclose information deemed confidential under the statutes, unless the existence of the contract is also deemed confidential under the statutes. Requires a non-disclosure agreement associated with one or more closed session meetings under Article 33C of GS Chapter 143 to be included in the minutes of each closed session meeting. Makes changes to GS 132-1 effective October 1, 2023, and applicable to any non-disclosure agreement entered into on or after that date.
Makes the changes to GS 147-13 effective October 1, 2023, instead of January 1, 2024.
Amends proposed GS 153A-54, requiring members of the governing board to participate in financial management education, by moving the specifications for the training into new GS 160A-89 and setting out those requirements as the following. Requires the program to be no less than six clock hours, and cover the laws and principles that govern local government fiscal and debt management, including GS Chapter 159 of the General Statutes. Encourages each member of the governing board to complete the financial management education. Requires each member of the governing board to complete the program if: (1) the Local Government Commission is exercising its authority and has assumed control of the financial affairs of the local government or (2) the local government is included on the most recently published Unit Assistance List issued by the Department of State Treasurer. Requires training completion within three months of any of these events. Sets out record keeping requirements. Exempts a governing board member who has completed financial management education within 24 months prior to the date the local government on whose governing board the member serves is included on the Unit Assistance List. Sets out entities that may provide the program. Defines member of the governing board to mean anyone elected or appointed to the governing board of a county, city, or consolidated city-county at any of the following times: (1) is in office on the date the Local Government Commission exercises its authority and assumes control of the financial affairs of the county, or takes office before the Local Government Commission relinquishes control of the financial affairs of the county or (2) is in office on the date the local government is included on the Unit Assistance List, or takes office within 12 months of that date.
Enacts new GS 160A-155.1 requiring any person to whom the council delegates its authority to administer the city to receive at least six clock hours of financial management education upon, or within six months of: (1) the Local Government Commission is exercising its authority under Article 10 (Assistance for Defaulting Units in Refinancing Debt) or 11 (Enforcement of Chapter) of GS Chapter 159 with respect to the city, (2) the city has received a letter from the Local Government Commission due to a deficiency in complying with GS Chapter 159 of the General Statutes, (3) the city has an internal control material weakness or significant deficiency in the most recently completed financial audit, or (4) the city is included on the most recently published Unit Assistance List issued by the Department of State Treasurer. Requires the training to incorporate fiscal management and the requirements of GS Chapter 159 of the General Statutes. Sets out entities that may provide the training. Sets out record keeping requirements. Makes conforming changes to GS 153A-82, GS 159-25, and GS 160A-148.
Enacts GS 159-183 prohibiting the Local Government Commission from disclosing any personally identifiable information, as defined, of any person reporting improper governmental activity.
Deletes proposed GS 159-6.1 concerning whistleblower protections.
Amends GS 159-20 by making organizational and clarifying changes.
Deletes proposed changes to GS 159-34 concerning failure of a local government to submit an annual audit.
Amends proposed GS 159-38.1 by adding that the appropriation to the fund balance reserve account must not exceed 5% of the total of all other appropriations for the same fund for which the fund balance reserve account has been established.
Revises the scope of GS 159B-39, which authorizes uses of revenue from electric power rates, to now make the statute applicable to a joint agency (was, cities and towns that are members of a municipal power agency).
Amends GS 159-12 as follows. Requires the budget officer to submit to the governing board a budget message, to be filed in the office of the board's clerk. Requires the budget message to include a general description of the proposed budget, all proposed tax rates and the change in those rates from the prior budget ordinance, all proposed fees and the changes in those fees from the prior adopted fees, and other synopsis information the budget officer deems important. Requires the governing board, before adopting the budget ordinance, to hold at least two public hearings with at least one providing the public with detailed revenue information, including at least the specified information for the prior two fiscal years. Provides that if the proposed budget ordinance raises (1) the tax rate from the previous fiscal year's budget ordinance or (2) the rates charged by a public enterprise fund or proposes a transfer of any amount from the general fund to the public enterprise fund, then the governing board must notify the property owner/public enterprise fund user in writing by mail at least 10 days before the public hearing. Requires the notice to include: (1) the date, time, and location of the public hearing; (2) the contact information of the governing board; and (3) an explanation of how to access a copy of the proposed budget ordinance. Requires any unit of local government with a population of less than 2,000 persons to hold only one public hearing on the proposed budget ordinance. Requires when the Commission has exercised its authority under GS 159-181(c) or (d), for the Commission to hold at least one public hearing, but it may waive any additional public hearings. Effective July 1, 2024, and applies to budgets adopted on or after that date.