RALEIGH – Gov. Pat McCrory signed the NC Competes job plan into law Wednesday afternoon, just hours after receiving it from the N.C. General Assembly. State House members passed it overnight in a marathon session that kept them on the House floor until after 4 a.m. Wednesday morning.
The chamber wrapped up the last legislation of the session, but the job plan was a top priority for lawmakers and the governor. It contains $20 million in annual job creation reimbursements for qualifying companies. It is aimed at giving North Carolina a competitive economic edge as state business development officials work to attract new jobs to the state.
There are triggers built into the fund to bolster efforts to bring a major manufacturer to the state. If a company invests at least $500 million in facilities and creates at least 1,750 jobs, the state will kick in an extra $15 million a year toward tax reimbursements. Commerce Secretary John Skvarla has kept the fires burning under job development deals while lawmakers designed the final incentives package.
“This sends a message of certainty to business and industry that North Carolina is committed to long-term job creation,” said Skvarla. “It is a tool that makes North Carolina competitive with our neighbors when it comes to creating jobs, either by recruiting new companies or by helping our existing industries expand.”
McCrory signed the measure early Wednesday afternoon, making it the first bill signed after the General Assembly adjourned for the year. The governor is getting a flurry of legislation that passed overnight, including the $2 billion bond package and the 2015 Farm Bill.
Several other economic development efforts had already made it through the session gauntlet and were signed by the governor earlier. The Historic Preservation Tax Credits and a reduction in the corporate tax rate were signed September 23 as part of the budget. NC Connects is a centerpiece of McCrory’s plan to boost employment in the state.
“This plan sends a signal that we’re ready to compete with any state or nation to bring good-paying jobs to North Carolina,” McCrory said. “This plan, coupled with the quality of life improvements we’ve made in education, health care and transportation, will demonstrate to companies that nothing compares to North Carolina when it comes to growing their business.”
According to the adjournment resolution, McCrory has 30 days to sign bills that passed the legislature or they automatically become law on October 30. Due to the change in the primary date from May to March, the resolution also brings the General Assembly back earlier than in past years. In 2016, they will return on April 25 for the so-called “short session” held the second year of the 2015-2016 budget biennium.