2018 Legislative Session Final Report

The 2018 legislative short session that ended June 29 was unique in its brevity and the fact that the “last week rush” occurred with two weeks remaining in the session. Activity during those final two weeks centered on passing multiple constitutional amendments for North Carolina voters to consider during the election in November. The General Assembly also did not adjourn “sine die,” meaning the biennial session is officially brought to a close, but adjourned until November after the election. The legislature will likely make necessary changes to state law after passage of any constitutional amendments, however, the adjournment resolution also allows the legislature to consider any other legislation it chooses.

Counties saw increases in lottery funding for school capital, partial resolution to the issue of local school boards suing county commission
boards, and the prevention of some regulatory changes harmful to local government among the successes of the legislative session. The details of many bills affecting counties follow. The state budget act also contains several items affecting counties.

  • Click here for a PDF of the entire report.
  1. Legislation Affecting Goals
  2. Other Bills
  3. Enacted Legislation

Public Education-1Seek legislation to establish a new state-county partnership to address statewide public school capital challenges—including but not limited to maintenance, renovation, construction and debt—through a dedicated, stable funding stream that is consistent from county to county and sufficient to meet the school facility needs of all 100 counties.
• Increased lottery funds for school capital in the short session budget brings the total lottery contribution to $217 million. The lottery now contributes 29 percent of revenues to school capital, up from 17 percent in the last biennium.
• Legislation establishing a $1.9 billion bond for school capital did not move this session, though champions in each chamber are committed to pushing for a bond in the next session.

Public Education-2: Seek legislation to repeal the statutory authority under N.C. Gen. Stat. 115C-431(c) that allows a local school board to file suit against a county board of commissioners over county appropriations for education.
• The General Assembly repealed ability for local school boards to sue counties over school operations funding, replacing it with a default funding mechanism when the boards cannot agree on funding.
• The legislation creates a working group to study the issue of how to deal with capital funding disputes between local school boards and county commissioners.

Tax & Finance-1: Support efforts to preserve and expand the existing local revenue base of counties, and oppose efforts to divert to the state fees or taxes currently allocated to the counties. Oppose efforts to erode existing county revenue streams and authorize local option revenue sources already given to any other jurisdiction.
• Legislation giving counties flexibility to use sales tax revenues for general
purposes and school capital was not considered in the short session.

General Government-3: Seek legislation, funding, and other efforts to expand digital infrastructure/broadband capability to the un-served and under-served areas of the state.
• The budget created a new $10 million grant program for private internet service providers to help expand access. Statewide
legislation authorizing counties to install and lease digital infrastructure was not considered; however, a local bill for 14 western
NC counties passed one committee.

Public Education-4:
Support legislation providing flexibility to align K-12 and community college calendars.
• The General Assembly did not consider any legislation granting school
districts calendar flexibility this session.