Senate Bill 613, signed into law by Governor McCrory on July 3, establishes the new “North Carolina Military Affairs Commission.” The purpose of the Commission is to provide advice to the Governor, the General Assembly, the Secretary of Commerce, and various state agencies on initiatives, programs, and legislation that will:
- Protect the existing military infrastructure in North Carolina against incompatible development, future military budget cuts, downsizing or consolidation, future Base Realignment & Closure (BRAC);
- Promote new military missions by supporting the vitality, prosperity and expansion of our military operations;
- Improve quality of life for military members and families by protecting and enhancing military programs and benefits; and
- Support economic opportunities for the state by leveraging opportunities for North Carolina businesses and growing our economy.
The Commission’s vision is to make North Carolina the most friendly state in the nation.
Military activities accounted for $23.4 billion in State GDP in 2008, with North Carolina businesses receiving $4.1 billion in defense procurement contracts. Defense-related businesses operate in 87 of North Carolina’s 100 counties, and $2.1 billion in statewide disposable income was created through incremental military activities.
Overall, the military supports roughly 10 percent of North Carolina’s economy. The military supports 540,000 jobs in North Carolina, $30 billion in state personal income, and $48 billion in gross state product. 340,000 of military-supported jobs occur in the private sector, with Professional and Technical Services, Administrative and Waste Services, and Construction being the top three military-supported private industry sectors. For more information on the economic impact of the military in North Carolina, please read this report from the North Carolina Department of Commerce.
The Commission will consist of 20 voting members, with the Governor appointing ten members, and the President Pro-Tem of the Senate and the Speaker of the House appointing five members each (with one member from each chamber who has either served in the military or has extensive experience in the area of military affairs). The terms of the appointed members will be for two years, and the chair would be appointed by the Governor from the voting members. The Commission will also include two non-voting members (a House member and a Senate member from districts that have a military installation), and non-voting ex-officio members (or their designees).
The legislation passed the General Assembly unanimously.