The NC Chamber will support efforts that define, standardize, and incentivize workforce value non-degree credentials to align with in-demand jobs.
We will work closely with the North Carolina Community College System to identify policy reforms and initiatives that increase enrollment and deliver quality education; strengthen advisory support, training, and upskilling/reskilling; increase access for currently employed and displaced workers; and ensure a high-quality teaching force. A continued examination of funding methodology, along with regional collaboration among higher education entities, provides a pathway for these types of opportunities.
Multiple studies have demonstrated that third-grade reading proficiency is critical to success for all students. The NC Chamber has been a strong supporter of the state’s efforts to increase third-grade reading proficiency through Read to Achieve. The state’s commitment to third-grade reading proficiency should be maintained despite a challenging revenue environment. The NC Chamber will continue to advocate for the state to refine its programs and policies aligned with the science of reading.
To increase third-grade reading proficiency, the NC Chamber continues to support enrollment of 75 percent of pre-K eligible children in every North Carolina county. We will urge the state to prioritize funding to address challenges related to maintaining and expanding pre-K enrollment.
The NC Chamber recognizes the impact COVID-19 is having on our state’s education system. We will continue to advocate for assessment efforts to identify learning deficiencies resulting from the pandemic and to resolve them with evidence-based approaches and through methods that uphold pedagogic and administrative accountability.
We will support the NC State Board of Education’s work to connect high school students with postsecondary and career opportunities. We will also work to support the State Board of Education’s NC Education Corps program, providing North Carolina’s school systems with increased support services to overcome the challenges stemming from COVID-19.
The NC Chamber will continue to seek out and advocate for high-quality academic pathways that reach all North Carolina high school students through college readiness programs or career opportunities such as apprenticeships, technical education, and early college high schools.
Pillar 2: Competitive Business Climate
The NC Chamber is committed to bringing value-driven health care to North Carolina in order to improve health outcomes and make costs more predictable and affordable. For this reason, the NC Chamber supports new legislation that will meaningfully establish association health plans in our state.
We will work to advance Certificate of Need (CON) reforms that reduce costs to the healthcare system and businesses while opposing the outright elimination of such laws.
The NC Chamber will oppose legislation that expands the number of health insurance mandates imposed on North Carolina businesses as mandates unduly increase health care costs for employers.
The NC Chamber will advance tort and civil liability reforms that reestablish North Carolina’s position as a top-10 state for legal business climate, including reforms that provide certainty and protect companies from frivolous nuisance lawsuits. Further, the NC Chamber will monitor liability protections passed for businesses in 2020 as a result of COVID-19 and advocate for strengthening protections where needed.
We will work to defeat legislation that erodes the balanced reforms to North Carolina’s workers’ compensation laws. In addition, the NC Chamber will fight to maintain balance on the North Carolina Industrial Commission and other boards and commissions by supporting and/or opposing nominees during the confirmation process. Our guiding principles will include ensuring said bodies are led by individuals with a balanced view of their substantive areas of authority and making sure that the business community is well represented.
The NC Chamber will work to defeat legislation that would create any form of rebuttable presumption around COVID-19.
We will work to cap, reduce, simplify, and eliminate the state franchise tax over the next five years as it is a regressive tax that penalizes North Carolina businesses for tangible investments on their business.
Following several tax changes passed in the 2018 legislative session, the NC Chamber will work to decouple from the Internal Revenue Code section 163(j) “limit deduction on interest expense,” or at least couple to the higher threshold of 50 percent passed in the 2020 federal CARES Act legislation.
The NC Chamber will also work to repeal the expansion of the franchise tax on small businesses passed during the 2018 legislative session.
We will continue to protect the integrity and solvency of our state’s unemployment insurance (UI) system, ensuring that we can keep providing claimants with the employment relief they need while preventing unnecessary burdens on job creators who pay the taxes that support the UI Trust Fund.
The NC Chamber will promote policies that encourage angel investing, venture capital investments, and investments in early-stage and start-up businesses here in North Carolina.
We will aim to address the way certain industries are treated under the Marketplace tax changes.
The NC Chamber will champion the ability of businesses to self-govern under remote or virtual shareholder meetings.
We will monitor the interpretation issues surrounding the North Carolina Department of Revenue and NC taxpayers that harm North Carolina’s reputation as one of the best states in the nation for business through audit activity and rulings that reduce predictability and effectively drive investment out of our state.
The NC Chamber will work to oppose any burdensome regulations in food and supply chains and other essential operations that must continue despite the ongoing emergency created by the COVID-19 pandemic.
We will support legislation enabling North Carolina to become a more attractive state for food manufacturing by seeking a more predictable liability climate for food manufacturers.
The NC Chamber will continually reevaluate the administrative appeals process in the search to promote efficiency and predictability for businesses and to simplify and accelerate project delivery.
Pillar 3: Infrastructure and Growth Leadership
The NC Chamber will advocate for a modernized transportation funding structure to improve our quality of life and meet the demands of a growing state in an increasingly competitive business environment. We will lead a coalition of future-minded organizations, Destination 2030: The Road to a Stronger Transportation Future, that seeks to identify and advocate for additional revenue sources that can stabilize North Carolina’s road, rail, and port (land and air) infrastructure investments.
We will continue to push for emergency funding for NCDOT to restart projects at all levels of the delivery process as well as bond measures that would allow the state to capitalize on a favorable borrowing environment, strengthening our ability to deliver on short-range investment needs across our transportation network.
The NC Chamber will continue promoting its forward-thinking, “all-of-the-above” energy strategy that supports grid modernization and improves access to renewables, solar, wind, geothermal, biomass, natural gas, and nuclear power.
The NC Chamber will advocate for policy recommendations outlined in the NC Chamber Foundation’s regulatory competitiveness and water studies.
The NC Chamber will champion the connection between education attainment and broadband adoption. We will support efforts to strengthen broadband infrastructure grants, broaden access to digital devices, improve affordability and adoption, and enhance availability in unserved areas.
The NC Chamber supports the efficient distribution of federal COVID-19 relief funds to aid and address deficiencies in healthcare, education, and private sector jobs across our state’s communities.