NCLM Southern City, Volume 73, Issue 4 2023

Positively, a number of municipalities saw occupancy tax authority granted, which will allow more cities and towns to both enhance tourist attractions and market those attractions. The publication of this issue of Southern City should coincide with a detailed review of all legislation affecting cities and towns in our annual End-of-Session Bulletin. If you have not seen that publication, place contact staff and we will direct you to it on our website. What follows is a look at our Legislative Goal Accomplishments included in the End-of-Session Bulletin. GOAL: Create an adequate and permanent funding stream for local infrastructure. Passage of SL 2023-134, the state budget bill, included over $3 billion in local infrastructure spending. Among those appropriations are individual earmarks of $1.9 billion for drinking water and wastewater. (Sec. 12.2) GOAL: Expand state transportation funding streams for construction and maintenance of municipal and state-owned secondary roads. Passage of SL 2023-134, the state budget bill, expands state Powell Bill funding by 10%, to $170 million in the new fiscal year. (Sec. 41.5) The budget bill also includes $30 million for the Disaster Relief and Mitigation Fund and the Transportation Infrastructure Resiliency Funds. (Sec. 5.9) GOAL: Expand incentives that encourage regionalization of water and sewer, as well as other municipal services, when appropriate. Passage of SL 2023-134, the state budget bill, sets aside another $10 million for the state Viable Utility Reserve in undirected funds for distressed water and sewer utilities, as that program continues to work to address utility systems’ deferred maintenance needs, including through regionalization plans. GOAL: Expand incentives and funding for local economic development. Passage of SL 2023-134, the state budget bill, provides $107. 8 million to assist in economic development megasite preparedness, helping local communities create sites attractive to new businesses. Another $10 million from the bill would go to evaluate areas of less than 1,000 acres for industrial sites (Sec. 11.2) GOAL: Expand federal and state resources for affordable housing. Passage of SL 2023-134, the state budget bill, $35 million to the Housing Finance Agency for multi-family affordable housing. GOAL: Enhance state systems and resources for local law enforcement officer recruitment, training, and retention. Passage of HB 140 Civilian Traffic Investigators allows cities to employ civilian investigators to investigate motor vehicle accidents, freeing up sworn law enforcement officers to meet other public safety needs. Passage of SL 2023-134, the state budget bill (Sec. 18.3) includes additional funding within the Criminal Justice Fellows Program and modifications designed to increase the number of graduates. Legislative Update: Legislative Session Concludes... Mostly NCLM.ORG 15