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Bill to Reform Appointments to Boards and Commissions Passes NC Senate
Added 02-08-13
 

Senate Bill 10, was introduced Feb. 4, 2013 and quickly passed the Senate. The bill would sunset the current appointments for a host of state boards and commissions including the Environmental Management Commission (EMC), Industrial Commission and the Utilities Commission.

Link to the text of Senate Bill 10

In its original form, the Senate Bill 10 called for elimination of some seldom heard of boards and commissions. However, the bill sponsors, Senate Rules Committee Chairman Tom Apodaca and Senate Transportation Committee Co-Chairman Bill Rabon, introduced a committee substitute for the bill which surprised many observers. In addition to repealing authority for the seldom heard of boards, the committee substitute, which ultimately received a favorable report in the Rules Committee, also calls for the following important changes:

• Reduces the membership of the Coastal Resources Commission from 15 to 11 members; changes appointment authority to four by the General Assembly and Seven by the Governor (current law authorizes the Governor to make all of the appointments); changes experience requirements for appointees; ends the terms of current members when the bill becomes law; and continues staggered four-year terms. The Bill also, reduces the membership of the Coastal Resources Advisory Council from 45 to 20 with at least half of the appointments to be from the 20 coastal counties; and ends the terms of current members on June 30, 2013.

• Reduces the membership of the Environmental Management Commission from 19 to 13 members, with seven appointed by the Governor and six appointed by the General Assembly; changes the required qualifications of members (note: the “manufacturing seat” was preserved!); ends the terms of current members when the bill becomes law; and establishes staggered four-year terms (currently six years for gubernatorial appointments and 2 years for legislative appointments).

• Ends the terms of all current members of the Industrial Commission effective April 15, 2013; reduces their terms from six years to four years; requires the Commission to adopt bylaws governing its business; and provides for staggered terms.

• Ends the terms of all current members of the Utilities Commission when the bill becomes law; reduces membership on the Commission from seven to five members; and provides for staggered six-year terms for the newly appointed Commissioners.

• Increases the number of General Assembly appointments to the Wildlife Resources Commission from eight to ten; reduces the number of appointments by the Governor from nine to seven; establishes that terms for all members will be two years (currently legislative appointments serve for two years and gubernatorial appointments serve for six years).

• Eliminates the current Board of the North Carolina Turnpike Authority when the bill becomes law; provides that the Board of Transportation shall serve, ex officio as the Board of the North Carolina Turnpike Authority; provides that the Secretary of the Department of Transportation, or the Secretary’s designee, shall be the Authority’s Chief Administrative Officer.

• Abolishes 12 Special Superior Court Judge positions, effective July 1, 2013.

• Limits appointments to the State Board of Elections to three terms; declares vacant any Board seat of any person serving in a fourth or greater consecutive term on the date the bill becomes law; authorizes the Governor to fill a vacancy occurring prior to April 30 in the year the Governor takes office, from a list of nominees provided by each political party.

• Provides that the Governor shall appoint the Chairman of the State Board of Education from among the membership, who shall serve at the pleasure of the Governor.

• Ends the terms of all members of the State Lottery Commission on the effective date of this bill. Provides for two-year terms (currently five years).

• Repeals the Charter School Advisory Committee of the State Board of Education.

The Senate approved the bill Feb. 7, 2013. The Bill now heads to the House where it will be “read-in” in on Feb. 11.

If you have any questions concerning the bill, please contact Preston Howard at the MCIC office.

 

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