Bill Summary for S 646 (2023-2024)

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Summary date: 

Apr 10 2023

Bill Information:

View NCGA Bill Details2023-2024 Session
Senate Bill 646 (Public) Filed Wednesday, April 5, 2023
Intro. by Lee, Lazzara, Hanig.

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Bill summary

Appropriates $2 million in recurring funds for 2023-24 from the General Fund to the NC Coastal Federation (Federation) for: (1) living shoreline projects sponsored by a local government that is or is in a coastal county and (2) matches for funds provided to the Federation or a local government for living shoreline projects. Requires the Federation to report annually on the use of the funds to the specified NCGA committee and division. 

Appropriates $800,000 for 2023-24 from the General Fund to the Federation for capital improvement projects at the Federation's mariculture hub in Carteret County.

Appropriates $500,000 in recurring funds for 2023-24 from the General Fund to the Federation for (1) the Federation's Lost Fishery Gear Recovery Program, which employs coastal fishermen and private partners to remove debris from coastal waters; (2) the investigation, removal, and disposal of abandoned and derelict vessels in State public trust waters in coastal counties, allowing funds to be used to contract with a federal or State agency or unit of local government or to match federal grant funds; and (3) up to $50,000 must be used to study and develop a recommendation for a permanent program for the removal of abandoned and derelict vessels in coastal waterways and requires consultation with specified stakeholders. Requires the Federation to submit an interim report by March 1, 2024, and a final report by October of each year that includes specified items to the specified NCGA committee and division.

Appropriates $500,000 for 2023-24 from the General Fund to the Federation for the restoration and protection of oyster habitat in Stump Sound from polluted stormwater runoff.

Amends GS 113-211, concerning the Shellfish Growers Loan Program as follows. Changes the definition of prime rate to now mean with respect to loans approved in a particular month the rate corresponding to the prime rate published by the Wall Street Journal on the first business day of that month (was defined as the interest rate that a commercial bank holds out as its lowest rate for a loan with less than a 36-month term to its most creditworthy borrowers). Specifies that funds in the Loan Program do not revert but remain available for the purposes described in the statute (was, funds are available in perpetuity). Amends the interest rate for loans under the Loan Program to be a fixed rate equal to the lesser of the prime rate and 5% (was, set at the prime rate plus 2.25%).

Requires the North Carolina Building Code Council (Council) and Code enforcement officials to prohibit the use of unencapsulated polystyrene material (as defined) in the construction of floating docks, piers, or walkways in waters of the State in coastal counties. Requires the Council to adopt a rule to amend the Code to be consistent with these provisions. Expires on the date that the adopted rules become effective.

Defines coastal county as it is used in the act to mean a county included in the definition of coastal areas in GS 113A-103, which sets out the following definition: the counties that (in whole or in part) are adjacent to, adjoining, intersected by or bounded by the Atlantic Ocean (extending offshore to the limits of State jurisdiction, as may be identified by rule of the Commission, but in no event less than three geographical miles offshore) or any coastal sound; requires the Governor to designate the counties that constitute the "coastal area." 

Effective July 1, 2023.