As 2022 winds down, here are some quick hits on the priority legislative items our team is focusing on for 2023. You can find the full 2023 Legislative Agenda here.
- Regulatory Overreach: In line with our environmental policy goals, we will continue to support legislation that protects North Carolina growers and agribusinesses from burdensome regulatory overreach which could impact their operations, and oppose legislation which could damage the legal liability, regulatory, and general business climate for agriculture in North Carolina.
- Access and Affordability: With nearly $1 billion of federal funds being distributed by the Department of Information Technology from the 2021 budget, the NC Chamber will continue to support efforts to strengthen broadband infrastructure grants, broaden access to digital devices, improve affordability and adoption, and enhance availability in unserved areas.
- Childcare: The NC Chamber will support pre-K and childcare funding structures, policy reforms, and innovations that address the growing workforce demands from the business community.
- Strengthening NC’s Workforce: The NC Chamber will continue to promote and advocate for high-impact programs such as apprenticeships, career and technical education, and early college high schools that connect students with postsecondary and career opportunities. We will also work closely with the North Carolina Community College System to identify policy reforms and initiatives that increase enrollment and deliver quality education.
- “All-of-the-above” Energy Strategy: The NC Chamber will continue promoting its forward-thinking, “all-of-the-above” energy strategy that supports grid modernization and improves access to natural gas, nuclear, biomass, geothermal, renewables, solar, and wind power.
- Natural Gas and Biogas: The NC Chamber will support legislation expanding availability, regulatory predictability, and access to natural gas and biogas. The NC Chamber will also support legislation preventing moratoriums on natural gas infrastructure and protecting access to natural gas as a fuel choice for job creators and housing affordability.
- Cap-and-Trade: We will support legislation which prevents North Carolina from joining the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI).
- Administrative Procedures Act Reform: Due to recent actions at the Environmental Management Commission, the NC Chamber will pursue major regulatory reform in the rulemaking space in 2023 to bring back certainty to the rulemaking process for new regulations on the regulated community. Get more context on this issue here. (p/w: wetlands2023)
- Clean Truck Rule: In October, Governor Cooper issued Executive Order 271 which contains the ACT (Advanced Clean Truck) Rule, requiring heavy duty vehicle (HDV) manufacturers of diesel trucks to sell a certain percentage of (ZEV) Zero Emitting Vehicles by 2026. The EO requires the NC EMC to release draft rules by May of 2023. The NC Chamber is closely monitoring this issue.
- Association Health Plans: The NC Chamber supports new future-focused legislation that will establish Association Health Plans (AHPs) in our state. Learn more about AHPs on the NC Chamber’s health care issue page.
- Telehealth: The NC Chamber recognizes the benefit telehealth services provide to employers and employees seeking access to health care and supports the continuation of these services in today’s digital world.
- The NC Chamber will work to increase access and affordability to create opportunities for North Carolina’s expanding workforce. Our government affairs team is currently engaged in the diverse “Keeping Housing Affordable” working group led by the John Locke Foundation.
- Contributory Negligence: We will oppose any effort to change North Carolina’s decades-long adherence to the contributory negligence standard, a legal doctrine that makes it harder for plaintiffs in our state to collect undue damages for accidents caused by their own negligence.
- Class Action Litigation: We will oppose efforts to legitimize or increase class action litigation financing in North Carolina.
- Data Privacy: We will continue to monitor Data Privacy proposals and oppose a restrictive data privacy law that includes a private right of action. The NC Chamber will continue to oppose a patchwork of state-level privacy laws across the United States.
- Elimination of the Franchise Tax: We will work to eliminate the state franchise tax, a regressive tax that penalizes North Carolina businesses for tangible investments in the state.
- Extension of the Jet Fuel Sales Tax Exemption: We will support the continued, historical exemption of certain business inputs by advocating for the extension of the jet fuel sales tax exemption in North Carolina.
- Transportation Funding Modernization: The NC Chamber will continue to advocate for a diversified and modernized transportation funding structure to keep our residents and visitors safe, improve our quality of life, and meet the demands of a growing state. Read more about one proposal to modernize transportation funding here.
- Advocate for Public-Private Partnerships: We will advocate to increase the limited methods of achieving critical infrastructure, including transportation projects, by removing the statutory cap on public-private partnerships.
- Workers’ Comp: The NC Chamber will continue to work to defeat any legislation that erodes the balanced reforms to North Carolina’s workers’ compensation system or threatens our status as a right-to-work state.
- Heat Rule: We will continue to monitor the Federal OSH Heat rule under consideration for any implications on employers and agribusiness here in North Carolina.