After a crowdfunding bill passed decisively in the N.C. House last year, advocates have tried in vain to get the measure passed in the Senate. With the latest session of the general Assembly nearly its close as the last big battle (budget) heads toward a climax, crowdfunding supporters are hoping for a last-second approval. Will they get it? Maybe not.
Scuttlebutt is that the Senate has a priority list that doesn’t include the bill that would open up an additional source of funding for startup businesses across the sate.
Investor and entrepreneur Mark Easley is reaching out to fellow supporters in an attempt to get the attention of Senate leaders.
Known as the North Carolina JOBS Act, the bill is H680. Easley isn’t giving up hope – yet.
“We are in the final stages of making investment crowdfunding a reality here in North Carolina with the passage of H680, the North Carolina JOBS Act. It has already passed the NC House last session by a vote of 103 to 1,” Easley wrote in an appeal to followers of the legilsation.
“Prospects look good in the NC Senate, but there are many competing priorities for their time, so we need your help to push it over the finish line in the NC Senate before they adjourn the short session.”
Using a blog, Easley spells out way backers can contact Senate leaders. (Rep. Tom Murry of Morrisville, a Republican and a businessman, has been helping lead the charge in the General Assembly.)
Both the House and Senate are run by Republicans, and Gov. Pat McCrory is a Republican. But despite party domination, Republicans in the House haven’t gotten allies in the Senate to make crowdfunding as imperative as both Republicans and Democrats have made clear with that decisive 103-1 vote.
“The North Carolina JOBS Act enables a new way of funding startups and small business in our state known as intrastate investment crowdfunding,” Easley reminded advocates and people who perhaps have not made up their mind about the bill’s importance.
“It enables both accredited and non-accredited North Carolina investors to participate in crowdfunded equity and debt offerings issued by North Carolina startups and small businesses.”
Easley points out that seven states (Kansas, Georgia, Michigan, Wisconsin, Washington, Indiana, Alabama) have approved similar legislation, Florida, Texas and California are considering bills.
“Many more states are expected to join the intrastate investment crowdfunding movement because it grows the economy from the ground up and creates jobs locally,” easley wrote.
“It is time for us to make it a reality here in North Carolina.”
But is the Senate listening?
You can learn more about the bill at the JOBS Act Team website.