NCACC and NCDOJ Announce Historic Agreement on Use of Proceeds from Future National Opioid Settlement Funds
This week, NCACC and the North Carolina Department of Justice announced a historic agreement that governs how North Carolina would allocate and use opioid settlement funds once national litigation, currently in negotiations, reaches a settlement. Under the agreement, settlement funds would be allocated as follows:
- 15 percent to the state, which the General Assembly would appropriate to address the epidemic.
- 80 percent to local governments, including all 100 counties and large municipalities, as well as those that joined the national litigation.
- An additional five percent to an incentive fund to encourage counties and large- and medium-size municipalities to sign on to the agreement, in order to maximize the settlement funds coming into North Carolina.
The NCACC Board of Directors adopted a related resolution
in support of the agreement urging all 100 counties and municipal partners to sign onto it without delay. Click HERE
for more information. Click HERE
to view the Memorandum of Agreement. Please email firstname.lastname@example.org
with any questions.
House Bill 218: Streamline Permits/Redevelopment of Property
— Requires counties that implement water supply watershed protection programs to allow an applicant to exceed the allowable density under the county's applicable water supply watershed rules under certain circumstances. The legislation also prohibits a county from considering a building footprint expansion of up to 20% a site plan modification if certain criteria are met. The bill gained approval in the House Judiciary 1 Committee this week and now heads to the House Local Government Committee on Land Use, Planning, and Development. NCACC urges you to review the bill and let us and your House member(s) know of any concerns.
House Bill 291: Bldg. Plan Approval — Certain Commercial Prop.
— Requires local governments to review and issue building permit decisions on certain commercial and multifamily building plans within 21 days of submission, or within 15 days of receiving additional requested information or resubmitted plans. Authorizes local governments and a building permit applicant to use a Department of Insurance qualified code enforcement officer, or contract with a third party engineering firm, to perform initial plan reviews under certain circumstances. The bill gained approval in the House Regulatory Reform Committee this week and now heads to the House Local Government Committee on Land Use, Planning, and Development. NCACC urges you to review the bill and let us and your House member(s) know of any concerns.
House Bill 284: Repeal Right of Action/Capital Outlay Fund
— This bill was heard in the House State Government Committee this week but failed to gain a favorable report. The bill repeals the ability for local school boards to sue the county over appropriations to the capital outlay fund, and makes final the decision of the county commissioners on the appropriation amount. This is a long-standing NCACC goal. NCACC thanks bill sponsors Rep. Larry Potts, Rep. Bobby Hanig, Rep. Ben Moss, and Rep. Mark Pless for filing the bill and ensuring it received a public hearing. NCACC encourages our members to continue to contact their House member(s) and illustrate how the current model puts counties and school boards in an inherently adversarial position and ask them to support this long-standing NCACC goal.
Bills of Note
- House Bill 344: System Development Fees Update — Makes clarifying changes to the statutes regarding county imposition of system development fees. The bill passed the House Finance Committee this week and will likely be voted on by the full House next week.
- House Bill 496: Property Owners’ Rights/Tree Ordinances — Prohibits local governments from adopting ordinances that prohibit the removal of trees from private property. The bill was scheduled for a hearing in the House Local Government-Land Use, Planning and Development Committee but was not heard. It’s now scheduled for a hearing next week.
- House Bill 684: LRC Study Development Exactions — Directs the Legislative Research Commission to study the constitutionality of conditions placed on development requiring public facilities or improvements at the expense of the landowners seeking to develop the property. The bill also provides the topics to be studied and the impact on affordable housing. The bill was filed in the House this week and has not yet been scheduled for a committee hearing.
- House Bill 686: No Gov’t Retribution for Refusal of CV19 Vax — Provides that county employees and applicants have the right to refuse a COVID-19 vaccine without termination or retaliation. The bill also adds retaliation by a county employer for refusal to take the COVID-19 vaccine, as one of the issues that can be heard as a contested case by the Office of Administrative Hearings. It states that individuals who refuse a COVID-19 vaccine have the same right to freely use State and local government buildings and land as an individual who receives a COVID-19 vaccine. The bill was filed in the House this week and has not yet been scheduled for a committee hearing.
- House Bill 704: Local Option Sales Tax Flexibility — Modifies Article 46 local option sales tax so that it may be levied, by referendum at either ¼ cent or ½ cent and allows county to identify, on the ballot, the use of the tax. Uses may include any of the uses listed for property taxes in G.S. 153A-149. NCACC thanks Rep. Julia Howard for her attention to this long-standing NCACC goal.
- House Bill 729: Charter Schools Omnibus — Allows counties to make direct capital appropriations to charter schools and authorizes counties to levy property taxes for these purposes. The bill was filed in the House this week. NCACC wants to know your thoughts on this permissive authority and asks you to provide any feedback to NCACC Legislative Counsel Adam Pridemore.
- Senate Bill 172: Additional Covid-19 Response & Relief — Establishes various funds in anticipation of the state’s receipt of ARP funds, and extends deadline for various funds distributed in earlier relief packages.
- Senate Bill 329: Building Code Modifications — Exempts commercial properties of a certain size and value from building code requirements, and prohibits local governments from enforcing policies related to building changes if the repair is less than $300,000 and does not makes changes to load-bearing structures.
- Senate Bill 355: Government Transparency Act of 2021 — Adds to the information in a county employee or officer personnel file that is a matter of public record, to include reasons for demotion, dismissal, transfer, suspension, separation, or other change in position for each county employee. The bill passed the Senate Judiciary Committee this week and next heads to the full Senate for consideration.
- Senate Bill 435: Terminations of States of Emergency — Requires that when a local government imposes prohibitions or restrictions during a local state of emergency and the emergency terminates or expires, the local government must post a notice on its website (if it has one). In addition, a notice must be submitted to the NC Department of Public Safety WebEOC critical incident management system. The bill passed the Senate this week and now heads to the House for consideration.
- Senate Bill 455: Decriminalize Non-Statutory Offenses — A new version of this bill was passed by the Senate Judiciary Committee this week. As originally filed, the bill prohibited criminal enforcement of local ordinances (currently a class 3 misdemeanor with a fine of not more than $500) and changed a violation of ordinances to an infraction punishable by no more than a $50 fine. The new version of the bill only prohibits criminal enforcement of certain regulatory ordinances. The bill prohibits creating a criminal penalty for any new ordinance in the first meeting it is introduced and creates a compliance defense for any alleged ordinance violations. The bill is likely to pass the Senate early next week and move to the House for consideration. Meanwhile, the House filed House Bill 738: Recodification of Criminal Laws this week. That bill convenes a working group of legislators charged with gathering information from stakeholders, including NCACC, to make recommendations to the General Assembly regarding a streamlined, comprehensive, orderly, and principled criminal code that includes all common law, statutory, regulatory, and ordinance crimes.
- Senate Bill 473: Enhance Local Gov’t Transparency — Makes various changes to statutes to increase local government transparency and accountability surrounding public employees’ undue financial gain. The bill passed the Senate Judiciary Committee this week and next heads to the full Senate for consideration.
Governor Cooper issued Executive Order 209
this week, which removes the mask mandate outdoors and increases mass gathering limits, effective April 30. Vaccines are now available to individuals 16 and older across the state, and 40% of adults are fully vaccinated.
New County Resources Available as NC Medicaid Managed Care Transition Continues
NC Department of Health and Human Services added a new fact sheet on the NC Medicaid Ombudsman, which will help Medicaid beneficiaries access health care. Click HERE
for more information and other resources.
Visit NCACC's resource page on the American Rescue Plan HERE
, which will include updates on information and other events as they are added.
Sales Tax Distribution Estimates/COVID Revenue Updates (April 2021)
Medicaid Managed Care Meeting Recap
NCACC hosted a Medicaid Managed Care listening session with representatives of the Prepaid Health Plans (PHPs), and brokers for enrollment and transportation. If you would like to view the recording, please email email@example.com
LGFCU Excellence in Innovation Awards Application Now Open
The 2021 Excellence in Innovation Awards program is now accepting applications. In addition to the ongoing work taking place across county disciplines, special consideration will be given this year to COVID-19 response efforts. Click HERE
for more information on the awards program. Award applications are due May 14, 2021.