Thursday, December 1, 2011

Public Policy Update: NCGA Special Session

The North Carolina General Assembly was back in Raleigh November 27-30 for a special session, and the Asheville Chamber was on the ground making sure the voice of Western North Carolina business was heard.

North Carolina legislatures arrived in Raleigh on Sunday and got the November special session underway at 8 pm on Sunday night. Throughout the session, which ended Tuesday (November 30), legislatures worked on key legislation for WNC.

The Asheville Chamber was particularly excited to see HB 796 receive approval from both the House and Senate. HB 796 changes North Carolina’s alcohol law and will allow breweries that brew more than 25,000 barrels of beer to self-distribute their product at the brewery location. This bill is pivotal for potential job creation in Buncombe and Henderson counties.

The Chamber would like to give a big thank you to Representative Tim Moffitt, Representative Chuck McGrady, Senator Tom Apodaca, and Senator Martin Nesbitt for their hard work on this legislation.

The Chamber was also pleased to see the Governor’s compact with the Eastern Band of Cherokee come through on Monday. The compact will modify NC's gambling law to allow live dealers in Cherokee and will produce needed jobs in WNC. The Chamber will be working hard to see that the General Assembly approves this job creating legislation as soon as possible.

The special session saw additional action with the Senate repealing the Racial Justice Act (SB 9) and the House passing legislation to cap the gas tax (HB 645). In the coming weeks be looking for the Governor’s veto to come on the repeal of the racial justice act and expect no action on the gas tax cap as the Senate decided not to take up the bill.

The General Assembly is scheduled to return to Raleigh February 16-18.

The Chamber will work hard to keep you updated on the happenings at the NCGA. If you have questions or concerns do not hesitate to contact Jeff Joyce at