The outlook for crowdfunding in North Carolina in 2014 is about as gloomy as the weather forecast early Monday: Foggy.

The N.C. House and Senate meet again this week to try to wrap up businesses, and a bill that contains crowdfunding as well as economic development legislation remains in limbo.

Backers are calling for crowdfunding to be voted on separately by the Senate – it’s already been passed in the House – but WRAL News’ Mark Binker replied “hard to say” when asked if the politicians will go along.

“While the Senate substitute for H1224 has been rejected by the House, there is still a chance for the original H680 to pass if the Senate will bring it up for a vote, which so far they have not yet done,” says Mark Easley, a Triangle entrepreneur and investor who is a big advocate of the crowdfunding legilsation known as the NC JOBS Act.

Easley also is a close ally of Rep. Tom Murry, a Republican from Morrisville, who is among the key legislative backers for House Bill 680. 

H1224 refers to a combined piece of legislation that bundles crowdfunding with economic development grants and other hot-button topics.

Binker told The Skinny the political mood doesn’t indicate much cooperation.

“Both sides are kind of angry with each other,” he reported. “Lots of testosterone going on.”

However, Binker said the best bet in his view for crowdfunding is if it remains part of a package.

“I don’t think there’s any way in hell it passes as a standalone bill,” he said. “It will go as part of an omnibus [bill] or not at all.”

Binker pointed out that a “conference report” number 1228 could be an option. He noted that “House leadership signed off at one point before rejecting it. They could still vote it or include some of the material in other bills if the two chambers can get passed their issues.”

Senators return to Raleigh on Tuesday, the House on Wednesday with agreement on adjournment still having not been reached.

“While this half-adjourned status is confusing, it leaves a sliver of hope open that some bills as yet unfinished could see further action this year,” Binker wrote at on Saturday.

Easley Speaks Out

Ealsey called for the Senate to end the quagmire and pass crowdfunding based on its own merits.

“The Senate leadership has continued a strategy of bundling our very popular bill with other controversial bills in an attempt to get the others through,” he told The Skinny via email. “This strategy has failed. It is time for the Senate leadership to do the right thing and bring the original H680 up for a vote, and pass it before this session ends.”

Should this session end without passage, Easley won’t give up hope. 

“[The legislature] may also reconvene soon or in November before this session ends, so there is still a chance to rectify this situation,” he said.

In a blog post, Easley warned that North Carolina risks falling further behind other states, including Georgia, that have enabled crowdfunding.

“The North Carolina economy and job creation in our state will suffer if we fail to enable this new way of financing small businesses and startups across the state,” he wrote.

“As of today, 12 states have already enabled intrastate investment crowdfunding, and 11 more states have started the process. Most have followed the lead of H680, which was the first intrastate crowdfunding legislation to be proposed and passed by any state house last year. This is now a nationwide trend, and North Carolina is in danger of missing the boat on this great opportunity.”

The full blog post can be read online.