Revised rules for rehabbing factories head to governor despite objections
Posted July 24, 2014
Raleigh, N.C. — When a bill designed to help new owners settle into unused industrial buildings left the state House, it was a half-page long and dealt with a single quirk of the state's building codes.
It returned form the Senate as a complex, five-page measure that drew objections Thursday from House lawmakers who said it should be given a once-over by the chamber's Environment Committee.
"Toward the end of the session, we get a lot of bills I would call dogs," said Rep. Chuck McGrady, R-Henderson. "This dog is a mongrel. We don't even know who his parents are."
McGrady said senators were trying to "bully" the House to push through bills without much thought.
But Rep. Julia Howard, R-Davie, said time was of the essence. A furniture company, she said, is considering moving into such an unused factory in Davie County once this bill passes.
"As we sit here, you are hampering 600 jobs that are at stake in Davie County today," Howard said.
The part of the measure that would help Davie – and that the House has already approved – allows companies renovating older mill buildings to use less stringent energy savings standards that were in place in 2009, rather than newer – and more costly – standards put in place in 2012.
But the Senate larded in provisions dealing with stormwater runoff, development and redevelopment and would allow for the expansion of existing buildings using the older energy conservation standards.
Rep. Grier Martin, D-Wake, made a push to send the measure to a House committee for further study, but Howard balked.
Howard said the additional material is the price the House needed to pay in order to get the bill done in a timely fashion.
"It's the kiss of death if we send it back to the committee," she said. "I don't believe we're going to get part 1 without part 2."
The measure passed 66-42 and is on its way to Gov. Pat McCrory.