Crowdfunding in North Carolina could take a big step toward becoming law on Wednesday as a Senate committee schedules the legislation for a hearing. A key backer says “this is very good news.”

But nothing’s guaranteed.

The Senate Commerce Committee on Tuesday scheduled a hearing for noon on the so-called NCJOBS Act. The formal name is “Jump-Start Our Business Start-Ups.”

The House already has approved the billl (HB 680), but the legislation has been caught up in the ongoing sausage-making process where budget differences have captured most of the attention and headlines. 

“I consider this very good news, since if means the bill will be considered on its own merits,” says Triangle entrepreneur, investor and big JOBS Act supporter Mark Easley.

The bill at one point was incorporated into regulatory reform legislation in an attempt to win Senate passage.

Mark Binker, who covers the General Assembly and all-things politics for WRAL, said it’s unclear what will happen at the Senate committee hearing. 

“Committee approval would send it to the floor,” Binker tells The Skinny. “Next stop would be the either back to the House (if the Senate makes any changes) or the governor, if they take the House bill as is.”

Senators Rick Gunn and Wesley Meredith co-chair the committee.

Backers of the bill landed some more support this week from Art Papas, founder and leader of Durham-based venture capital firm Pappas Ventures. Pappas is one of the state’s most active and best-known VC funds.

“I know that I am late for what you need, but I have been a big supporter of the JOBS Act and have made this known to the legislature in a variety of forms and forums,” Pappas wrote in an email sent to JOBS Act backers. He says he would have voiced support earlier but a recent notice from the JOBS Act group was misdirected.