2021-2022 Legislative Goals

As Approved by the Legislative Goals Conference

Priority Goals

  1. Seek legislation, funding, and other efforts to expand digital infrastructure/broadband capability to the unserved and under-served areas and residents of the state. 
  2. Seek additional revenue sources, including a statewide bond referendum and expanded lottery proceeds, and changes to the Needs-Based Public School Capital Fund, to equitably address statewide public school and community college capital challenges. Revisions to the Needs-Based Public School Capital Fund that will allow more equitable access to counties to take advantage of the funds include:
    • Allowing Needs-Based Public School Capital Funds to be used for renovations and improvements in addition to new construction.
    • Reducing or eliminating local match requirements for Tier 1 and Tier 2 counties.
    • Eliminate the five-year prohibition of receiving funds from the Public School Building Capital Fund if a county receives a grant from the Needs-Based Public School Capital Fund by repealing G.S. 115C-546.2(f). 
  3. Support legislation to allow counties to include specific language on the ballot referendum designating how the proposed quarter-cent local sales tax levy will be spent.
  4. Increase state funding and support legislation for behavioral health services and facilities, including dedicated resources for community paramedicine projects; inpatient crisis beds; substance use disorders; specialty courts; individuals with mental health issues in county jails; and single stream funding for area authorities.
  5. Oppose efforts to divert to the state, fees or taxes currently allocated to the counties or to erode existing county revenue streams with unfunded mandates.

Agriculture

AG-1: Support state funding and staffing for agricultural research, Cooperative Extension services and agriculture-related efforts, including Community Conservation Assistance Program, as well as funding and staffing for equine-agricultural research and other equine-agriculture related efforts, to support the largest economic driver in North Carolina. 

AG-2: Support legislation to protect all farming operations from nuisance lawsuits.


Environment

ENV-1: Support additional state funding to assist local governments in all recycling, with special attention to managing electronics recycling and scrap tire disposal

ENV-2: Seek legislation to restore county authority over solid waste management and oppose any further shift of authority away from local governments. 

ENV-3: Support legislation to help improve water quality in the state, including a comprehensive approach to aquatic weed control, increased funding and resources for state agencies to develop health advisory levels and standards for existing and emerging contaminants. 

ENV-4: Support increased funding for all agencies that support water and wastewater expansion, as well as capital projects, with consideration to local regulations and secondary impacts to protect receiving waterways 

ENV-5: Seek legislation to provide additional resources for preventative storm damage maintenance to clear debris to help prevent flood damage in low-lying areas.

ENV-6: Support increased funding at the state level for the Parks and Recreation Trust Fund. 

ENV-7: Seek legislation that will allow the North Carolina Sedimentation Control Commission an option to delegate portions of its authority under the Sedimentation and Pollution Control Act to local County programs for all private, State and Federal projects, at the request of the county.


General Government 

GG-1: Seek legislation, funding, and other efforts to expand digital infrastructure/broadband capability to the unserved and under-served areas and residents of the state. 

GG-2: Support increased state funding for existing and new transportation construction and maintenance needs, and support legislation to ensure that the Strategic Transportation Investments (STI) funding formula recognizes that one size does not fit all and that projects in both rural and urban areas are prioritized and funded. 

GG-3: Support increased State funding for public libraries. 

GG-4: Support legislation to grow North Carolina's statewide economy through state investments, including public infrastructure funding, competitive incentives, and coordinated efforts with county economic development services. 

GG-5: Support legislation to remove inequities and inconsistencies in the current state economic tier system. 

GG-6: Seek legislation allowing public bodies to provide meeting notices by electronic means in addition to allowing notice through a newspaper with general circulation within the county.

GG-7: Support food supply chain initiatives and funding for North Carolina food banks as well as other equipment, supplies, and other nonrecurring expenses to reduce food insecurity. 

GG-8: Support legislation providing equitable distribution of resources to all North Carolina counties to respond to public health and natural emergencies, and to allow each county flexibility in determining the best use for such resources. 

GG-9: Support legislation allowing counties flexibility in holding remote board meetings, allowing contemporaneous, virtual public hearings, in order to expeditiously conduct county business during emergencies. 


Health and Human Services 

HHS-1: Support legislation and state resources for social service reform efforts as identified by the Social Services Working Group to improve outcomes for individuals, families, and children, as well as increase state funding for social services programs, and to continue the NCACC’s opposition to mandated regionalization, including revisions to the annual written agreement process under G.S. 108A-74. 

HHS-2: Support continued state funding of Medicaid and support efforts to close coverage gaps.

HHS-3: Support legislation for hold harmless provisions and staggered payment plans to control/cap the liability to counties under the Medicaid and NCHC overpayment recoupment plan, which holds counties financially responsible for the erroneous issuance of Medicaid benefits and Medicaid claim payments resulting when the county DSS takes any action that requires payment of Medicaid claims for an ineligible individual. 

HHS-4: Seek additional funding and preserve block grant allocations to increase access to high quality childcare, early childhood education, child welfare services, adult protective services and guardianship, including: 

  • Women’s and Children’s Health Services Block Grant funding to local health departments for critical services like maternal health, child health and women’s health services to address unfavorable infant mortality rates; 
  •  Home & Community Care Block Grant; Senior Center General Purpose Funds; Social Services and Human Services Block Grants; TANF; and 
  • emergency childcare funding to ensure the safety and stability of our childcare system.

HHS-5: Support adequate funding and policy initiatives to support local health departments and public health services. 

HHS-6: Seek legislation to clarify and simplify the reaccreditation process for local health departments by aligning statutory and administrative code requirements; setting reaccreditation at five-year intervals; and making the process a contracted service between the N.C. Institute of Public Health and the governing body for the local health department. 

HHS-7: Increase state funding and support legislation for behavioral health services and facilities, including dedicated resources for community paramedicine projects; inpatient crisis beds; substance use disorders; specialty courts; individuals with mental health issues in county jails; and single stream funding for area authorities.

HHS-8: Support legislation to improve processes and regulations to increase child support collections. 

HHS-9: Support legislation to ensure ROAP (Rural Operating Assistance Program) funding is restored for fiscal year 2021.


Justice and Public Safety 

JPS-1: Support efforts to provide greater flexibility to local governments in expenditure of 911 surcharge funds and ensure adequate funding for next-gen technology.

JPS-2: Support increased state funding for NC courts, including funding for specialty courts and pretrial release programs. 

JPS-3: Seek legislation to increase the amount paid to county jails by the state to the full cost reimbursement for housing sentenced inmates. 

JPS-4: Support legislation and state funding to provide early intervention services through the Juvenile Crime Prevention Councils, and support increased state funding for the prevention, intervention and treatment of adolescent substance use disorders, gang involvement and domestic violence; and requires the Department of Public Safety to evaluate and update the amount of local matches for JCPC funding.


Public Education

PE-1: Seek additional revenue sources, including a statewide bond referendum and expanded lottery proceeds, and changes to the Needs-Based Public School Capital Fund, to equitably address statewide public school and community college capital challenges. Revisions to the Needs-Based Public School Capital Fund that will allow more equitable access to counties to take advantage of the funds include: 

  • Allowing Needs-Based Public School Capital Funds to be used for renovations and improvements in addition to new construction. 
  • Reducing or eliminating local match requirements for Tier 1 and Tier 2 counties. 
  • Eliminate the five-year prohibition of receiving funds from the Public School Building Capital Fund if a county receives a grant from the Needs-Based Public School Capital Fund by repealing G.S. 115C-546.2(f). 

PE-2: Support legislation providing for funding to help counties implement school security measures. 

PE-3: Support legislation that promotes career and college readiness by increasing funding for apprenticeship & internship programs, workforce development programs, and funding to allow youth to obtain an associate degree from a community college or trade certificate at no additional cost to the student. 

PE-4: Support legislation providing flexibility to align K-12 and community college calendars.

PE-5: Support legislation to provide exceptions to the K-3 class size mandate including but not limited to lack of school facility space and availability of qualified teachers. 

PE-6: Seek legislation to repeal the statutory authority under N.C.G.S. 115C-431(c) that allows a local school board to file suit against a county board of commissioners over appropriations to the local board of education's capital outlay fund. 

PE-7: Support legislation to create a blue-ribbon panel of experts to study, develop and implement critical mediation programs to help NC students recover from the education slide resulting from the COVID related transition to virtual learning.


Tax and Finance 

TF-1: Support efforts to preserve and expand the existing local revenue base of counties and authorize local option revenue sources already given to any other jurisdiction to all counties. 

TF-2: Support legislation to allow counties to include specific language on the ballot referendum designating how the proposed quarter-cent local sales tax levy will be spent. 

TF-3: Oppose efforts to divert to the state, fees or taxes currently allocated to the counties or to erode existing county revenue streams with unfunded mandates. 

TF-4: Support the introduction and enactment of a state low-income housing tax credit to assist with the construction of housing affordable to people of all income levels.