2008 Legislative Agenda Recap
After Action Report
Funding for several items on regional or Chamber agendas were included in
the final budget. Many of these items should help our region remain
competitive by allowing our region to continue to research innovations in
- Bioengineering program at NCSU - $2 million
- BRITE (Biomanufacturing Research & Technology Enterprise) - $1
- Research Competitiveness Fund for the University system - $3
- Defense &
- $1.5 million
Center of NC - $5 million
- Community College equipment funding received a $5 million
Partial list of capital projects for the region include (region
received almost $400 million in capital building projects in the budget):
- $2.6 million
- NCSU Engineering Complex - $14.4 million
- Centennial Campus Library - $109 million
- Green Square/Dept. of Environment Natural Resources project -
$150 million project
The Chamber also advocated on behalf of several key initiatives to
the business community. First, we joined with a coalition of employers to
bottle up legislation that would have granted public employees the right to
collective bargaining. The coalition successfully lobbied Appropriations
Committee to oppose House Bill 1583, which fell only one vote shy of
passage. Due to our narrow margin of victory, we expect the bill will be
introduced early in the next session. The Chamber also advocated for the
repeal of the state gift tax. The gift tax repeal was included in the
budget, which will help small business owners who wish to transfer assets to
future generations and bring North
Carolina in line with many other states.
The state also included $2 million to extend the R&D tax credit
through 2014. The General Assembly included tax credit for small business
owners who provide health insurance to their employees, saving small
business owners in North Carolina
$18 million through 2014.
On the transportation front, we've had some great successes.
Gap Funding for the Triangle Expressway was included in budget
signed into law by the governor. The $25 million appropriation was supported
by a reduction in the Highway Trust Fund transfer to the General Fund
(another long-term goal of the Chamber). Before this session, the Highway
Trust Fund transferred $172 million of transportation-related fees/taxes to
the General Fund. With the transportation challenges facing our state and
region, we have long sought to have this transfer eliminated.
- Gap Funding for the Triangle Expressway is a huge victory for
our region, which is currently estimated to cost roughly $1 billion. The
RTA and Chamber significantly helped the NC Turnpike Authority make this
happen. This is the state's first commitment to toll roads in decades
and the Chamber, along with the RTA, played a major role in securing
funds for this project.
Turnpike Enforcement Authority legislation passed (S 1697). NC
Turnpike Authority needed this legislation in order to get a stronger rating
by bond agencies. With expiring environmental studies on the Triangle
Expressway, we could not wait until next year to get this legislation
- Through the combined efforts of the Chamber and the RTA, we
were successful in speeding up the progress of the bill.
- The legislation passed the Senate and was sent to the governor
one day before the General Assembly adjourned.