Senate gives initial nod to economic development bill

Posted September 21, 2015

NC Flag, Legislative Building, Raleigh

— The state Senate voted 44-0 Monday to give tentative approval to a bill that will bolster the state's job-recruiting efforts.

House Bill 117 will plow more money into North Carolina's Job Development Investment Grant program, which gives companies a tax break when they invest in new equipment and hire workers. The bill includes a "super-sized" JDIG grant for large manufacturers such as automakers.

"I'm going to be very pleased to be able to sell North Carolina with a very clear economic development strategy that I can clearly communicate," Gov. Pat McCrory said last week. "I've not had that tool package now for eight months, and it's put us at a disadvantage."

McCrory has been calling for a new economic development bill since late last year, but lawmakers were at odds over how to go about luring jobs to the state. In particular, legislators sparred over how to balance the need to land big manufacturers with the need to aid rural North Carolina areas. The result is a bill that offers sweeter incentive deals to companies that locate in economically depressed areas.

Senators should finish work on the bill Tuesday, just as the House takes the first of two scheduled votes on the measure.


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