2015 Legislative Session Final Report

The 2015 session of the North Carolina General Assembly ended in the early morning of Sept. 30 after the usual flurry of last-minute legislative action. The long session was driven by budget disputes that led to three delays in passage of the state budget act and frequent discord between the Senate and House on large, complex policy issues such as sales tax changes, Medicaid reform, and various economic development efforts. Strong participation in the legislative process by NCACC members both at home and during visits to the legislature played a key role in ensuring protection of county interests and furtherance of association goals.

For counties, the entirety of the session was defined by the conversation surrounding redistribution of local sales taxes, the intent of which was to bring additional revenue to struggling, mostly rural areas of the state. Active lobbying by local officials on both sides of this issue led to multiple plans floated containing different distribution formulas, with NCACC staff analyzing each one and regularly updating our membership, as well as meeting with legislators on the effect of each on counties.

The association and counties achieved or made progress on goals addressing economic development assistance, 911 funding flexibility, increased revenue for transportation infrastructure and dredging, increased mental health funding, progress toward implementing a statewide child welfare case management system, reform of childcare subsidy formulas, and limiting unfunded mandates. Legislation regarding other goals is eligible for the 2016 Short Session.

Another theme of this year was challenges to local government authority, with the legislature debating and sometimes passing proposed laws limiting local government revenue and ordinance powers. Details on all these and other subjects are included in this report.

The General Assembly returns for the second year of the biennium on April 25, 2016, about three weeks sooner than its traditional Short Session commencement. The earlier start date was enabled when the legislature moved the primary election date from May to March. This report is broken into several sections that can be accessed using the links on the lefthand side of this page.

  • Click here to download a PDF version of the report.