So how confusing is it to try to track what’s happening with crowdfunding in the N.C. General Assembly?

Just read the latest headline from’s @NCCaptiol team:

“Senate wants to tie teaching assistant money to economic development bill”

Backers of the NC JOBS Act, which would permit crowdfunding for startups in North Carolina, may not get their wish for passage as heated political debate drags on in Raleigh. Crowdfunding and economic development issues such as a new job development fund are part of a package that still divides House and Senate as leaders struggle to find a way to close the current legislative session.  

Just this week, a new report documents how beneficial crowdfunding is proving to be to startups. Raise such seed money, plant the seeds, begin to grow a business, and chances are larger amounts of institutional capital from investors may follow.

Don’t Give Up

There is hope. 

What’s Mark Binker describes as a “technical fix” was passed by the Senate, 34-6, on Thursday night.

But since crowdfunding is part of a the economic development package that includes the new Catalyst Fund, Binker says the package remains unpopular in the House who are “circumspect about government-funded incentives.”

Further clouding the issues now is a dispute over funding teacher assistants.

“Senators have also tied a fix to how funding for teachers and teaching assistants work sought by school districts to an economic development bill,” Binker says. “The TA fix won’t pass unless a measure allowing counties to levy new sales taxes and creating a new state job catalyst fund does.”

For those who don’t live daily in the political realm, trying to keep track of what’s happening in the General Assembly is mind-boggling.

Binker points out that the teacher assistant “fix” in one bill (House Bill 718) modifies language about local sales tax provisions in the bigger bill (House Bill 1224) that contains crowdfunding and economic development. 


Other Development Issues, Including Solar

But as Binker sums up in his story, much more than crowdfunding is at stake in 1224:

  • A job catalyst fund designed to help the governor and the secretary of commerce land big economic development projects such as car manufacturers. The state budget sets aside $20 million in case this fund is created, and there’s the potential for more money to be added in case of a specific project requires it.
  • A boost to the state’s JMAC fund designed to help a paper mill in western North Carolina convert to a more environmentally friendly power source.
  • A measure to allow North Carolina companies to raise small investments through crowdfunding.
  • A fix to the state’s unemployment laws that would allow the state to keep certain records confidential.
  • An extension of the state’s renewable energy tax credit designed to help certain solar projects.

The House has already passed – overwhelmingly – the NC JOBS Act. It’s too bad that the Senate didn’t given the legislation a chance to pass separately.

A key vote comes at 10 a.m. today in the House, Binker says.

Maybe today we will know at last whether startups can soon tap into new sources of funding.