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NCSBA Legislative Update – May 29, 2020

This Week at the Legislature

NCSBA School Technology Video Campaign

NCSBA continues to work with state leaders to produce a multi-year payment plan for school technology funds that are constitutionally owed to public schools. Part of our school technology campaign is running Facebook ads. If you are on Facebook and see the ads, we hope that you will share them. We also urge you to express your support of this initiative to your legislative delegation. Click here to access our webpage containing two videos that provide background information and explain the current need for school technology and the money owed to school districts. Click here to read NCSBA’s issue brief on school technology.

Legislative Activity

It was another busy week at the legislature. Numerous new education-related bills were filed (see below) and there was continued conversation about the state’s projected revenue deficit for the current and upcoming fiscal years. A joint meeting of the House and Senate appropriations committees was held on Tuesday, May 26 concerning the May Revenue Consensus Forecast. While there is an estimated $4.2 billion revenue shortfall for the current two-year biennium, Fiscal Research Division staff noted that the projections in the revenue forecast were formulated under a high level of uncertainty and the forecast will be updated with more data after the July 15 tax filing deadline. On Thursday, May 28 budget bills began being heard in appropriations committees, signaling the legislature’s intent to use the mini-budget bill process to fund the majority’s high-priority items instead of waiting for the completion of a comprehensive budget for FY 2020-21.

House Speaker Tim Moore followed up his comments last week expressing interest in a K-12 public schools construction bond referendum by filing HB 1225: Education & Transportation Bond Act of 2020, which would provide $800 million for school capital projects. This bill significantly reduces what the Speaker proposed in his bond bill last year, which included $1.5 billion for LEAs, and is also well below the last school bond issue of $1.2 billion in 1996, 24 years ago. When asked about a school construction bond, Senate Leader Phil Berger stated that he would not commit to a bond referendum until there is more clarity on the state’s revenue and potentially high budget shortfall. Click here to access an EdNC article explaining the State’s struggle to reach a consensus on how to best address school capital needs and the current opportunity to invest in a bond package. Click here to read NCSBA’s issue brief on school construction.

The following education-related bills had legislative action this week:

SB 476: School-Based Mental Health

  • Ratified and presented to the Governor on Friday, May 29
  • Requires the SBE to adopt a school-based mental health policy and requires K-12 public school units to adopt and implement a school-based mental health plan, including a mental health training program and a suicide risk referral protocol
    • There will be at least six hours of initial training in the first six months of employment and at least two hours in subsequent years

SB 419: Technical and Other Changes

  • Placed on Senate calendar for Monday, June 1
  • Section 8 concerns private activity bonds for charter schools

HB 1079: Various Sales Tax Changes – passed the Senate, received House concurrence, and is in the process of being sent to the Governor

HB 1151: Asheville-Buncombe Bd. of Trustees – passed the House and sent to the Senate

HB 1153: Iredell-Statesville Bd. of Ed/Election Method – passed the House and sent to the Senate

SB 717: PED/Military Occupational Licensure – committee substitute adopted by the Senate Commerce and Insurance Committee and approved by the Senate Rules Committee

SB 719: Retirement Protection Act – passed the Senate and referred to the House Pensions and Retirement Committee

 

Governor’s Press Releases

  • On Tuesday, May 26 Governor Cooper announced the disbursement of federal COVID-19 relief funds to counties, which may be used for public health and essential service expenses.

 

June 1-5 Legislative Meeting Calendar

Tuesday, June 2

10:00 am – House: Education K-12 – Legislative Office Building, rm 643 (audio) (video)

1:00 pm – House: Homeland Security, Military, and Veterans Affairs – Legislative Building, rm 1228/1327 (audio) (video)

 

Education-Related Bills Introduced This Week

HB 1178: Brake for Our Future Act of 2020

HB 1180: Sam’s Law

HB 1181: Certain Appropriations for Education/COVID

HB 1182: Funds of Educational Entities/COVID

HB 1189: Drivers Education COVID-19 Response

HB 1190: UNC-TV/At-Home Learning Initiative

HB 1192: Student Health Collaborative Pilot

HB 1193: Person County Funds

HB 1194: Granville County Funds

HB 1199: Graduating Sr Numeric Grade/Appropriate Funds

HB 1203: Ensure Healthy Schools/COVID-19

HB 1206: Student Mental Health Well-Being/COVID-19

HB 1212: NC Teacher Support Program Funds

HB 1213: DMV/Waive Rd. Test/Parent/Guard. Liability

HB 1217: HBCU/HMSI Funds/Doct. Prog./Teaching Fellows

HB 1225: Education & Transportation Bond Act of 2020

SB 833: DMV/Mdfy Req for Driving Perm/Prov License

SB 839: PPE & Hazard Pay for Public School Employees

SB 842: Graduating Sr Numeric Grade/Appropriate Funds

SB 843: Waive Road Test/DMV Expand Office Hours

SB 844: Student Mental Health Well-Being/COVID-19

SB 847: UNC Laboratory School Modifications

SB 850: Ensure Healthy Schools/COVID-19

SB 851: One-Time Retiree Supplement/Funds

SB 857: Private School Families Tax Incentive

SB 859: Student Internet Connectivity Act

 

 

 

 

Leanne E. Winner
Director of Governmental Relations
N.C. School Boards Association
(919) 747-6686

Bruce Mildwurf
Associate Director of Governmental Relations
N.C. School Boards Association
(919) 747-6692

Richard Bostic
Assistant Director of Governmental Relations
N.C. School Boards Association
(919) 747-6677

Rebekah Howard
Governmental Relations Research Specialist
N.C. School Boards Association
(919) 747-6688

Rebekah HowardNCSBA Legislative Update – May 29, 2020