None of the four bills before the House today were voted on. H.B. 589, which would increase the number of coverage mandates for health insurance, was referred to the commerce committee. H.B. 565, a bill imposing fire fees in Union County, was not deemed ready by its sponsors. It was also decided that neither H.B. 530, the Life Sciences Development Act nor H.B. 713, a move to expand tax credits to film production companies, were ready for a vote to concur and were both appointed to conferees after a motion was made by Representative Pryor Gibson (D-Anson).
H.B. 530 and H.B. 713 were both of extreme importance to the state. If passed, both bills would grant significant tax credits to corporations in North Carolina. The most troubling implication of H.B. 530 is that it calls for an increase of government control and risk of taxpayers’ money in the life sciences industry by establishing a Fannie Mae/Freddie Mac-type of investment company that privatizes profits and socializes losses of wealthy investors.
What is troubling about H.B. 713 is that taxpayers’ money will be used to grant benefits to movie executives. Representative Gibson was right in noting the importance and controversy surrounding these issues when he made his motion and they are certainly two bills that must be scrutinized with the utmost caution.