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North Carolina Legislative Report - October 26, 2012

October 15 - 26, 2012 

On the Floor

The NC General Assembly completed the short legislative session on July 3rd and has adjourned sine die until January 30, 2013.  The MVA Public Affairs Legislative Report on North Carolina will be distributed bi-weekly while the North Carolina Legislature is not in session.

While session is over, the General Assembly will continue to have various interim committee meetings throughout the year.

When the next Legislative Report is issued, the 2012 election will have ended.  Check out the North Carolina State Board of Elections website to find your polling location.

Committee Highlights

Joint Legislative Program Evaluation Oversight Committee

The North Carolina Railroad has a complicated relationship with its namesake and sole shareholder: North Carolina. Each day, 60 freight trains and 10 passenger trains travel NCRR tracks that curve across the state for 317 miles, from Charlotte to Morehead City. Norfolk Southern Railroad pays $14 million a year to use the NCRR tracks. The NCRR operates as a private corporation, but it is owned entirely by the public – the taxpayers of North Carolina.

In The News

N.C. governor candidates discuss issues in final debate (October 24, 2012)

The two men vying to be the next governor of North Carolina tackled big issues Wednesday in the final debate before Election Day. Former Charlotte Mayor Pat McCrory and Lt. Gov. Walter Dalton were not heated as they went deeper into the issues. They discussed education, immigration and unemployment. “NC needs to get into the energy business,” McCrory said. “We’ve stayed on the sideline for far too long regarding natural gas exploration.”

Obama tops Romney in N.C. fundraising (October 25, 2012)

Democratic President Barack Obama has raised more than $7.6 million from North Carolina since early 2011 in his bid for re-election, according to campaign finance documents. Republican Mitt Romney, meanwhile, has raised $5.8 million from North Carolina donors, reports filed with the Federal Election Commission show. The figures don’t include contributions to so-called Super PACs that back the candidates.

Anti-fracking forces protest at NC gov't building (October 22, 2012)

Members of a group opposed to a newly legal form of energy exploration in North Carolina shackled themselves to the doors of a state environment building before leaving peacefully with no arrests. Seven people associated with Croatan Earth First linked themselves together Monday morning to block the front doors to the new headquarters of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources in Raleigh.

NC early voting on track to break record (October 25, 2012)

More North Carolina voters are taking advantage of early voting this year than four years ago, with more than 817,000 voters having already cast their ballots. Data provided by the state Board of Elections and compiled by the Civitas Institute on its voter tracking site shows the major metropolitan areas seeing the heaviest turnout of votes, although a precinct in the Nash County town of Nashville has seen the biggest turnout of any precinct, with 1,733 voters having cast early ballots.

NC calls on counties to take steps to speed early voting (October 23, 2012)

State election officials are asking their county counterparts to find ways to ease long lines at North Carolina's early voting stations. State elections executive director Gary Bartlett sent a memo Tuesday to directors in all 100 counties urging them to consider changes that will make voting occur more efficiently and alleviate waits as long as two hours at some locations. More than 600,000 people had voted statewide as of Monday and the total is likely to exceed 2 million before in-person early voting ends Nov. 3.

NC GOP state Sen. Don East dies at age 67 (October 22, 2012)

State Sen. Don East, a former police officer and mountain Republican who rose in the leadership ranks with the GOP's new control of the Legislature last year, died early Monday at age 67, officials in the Senate said. East died about 3 a.m. at Forsyth Medical Center in Winston-Salem, according to East's legislative aide, Steven Webb.

Dalton, McCrory differ on education in Asheville (October 22, 2012)

Democratic gubernatorial candidate Walter Dalton and Republican candidate Pat McCrory drew sharp contrasts Monday on their ideas for North Carolina’s education system. Both spoke to the N.C. Bankers Association meeting in Asheville.

Roots and ideas are issues in NC's 11th district (October 23, 2012)

Republicans say North Carolina's 11th congressional district is one of four they hope to take away from Democrats. Democratic incumbent Heath Shuler decided not to run for a fifth term from the district which stretches nearly 200 mountainous miles from areas north of Hickory west and south to the end of the state. Shuler's chief of staff, 42-year-old Hayden Rogers, got the Democratic nomination and is facing 53-year-old Republican real estate developer Mark Meadows.

Outside groups target NC legislative races again (October 20, 2012)

Third-party groups backed by money from corporations and liberal-leaning organizations are trying again this fall to influence the partisan makeup of the General Assembly. Just like two years ago, a chief outside player in House and Senate campaigns is the pro-business Real Jobs NC, which is supporting Republican candidates and opposing Democrats with TV and radio commercials and mailers. An opposition group backed by historically Democratic interests is again throwing counterpunches.

Super PAC funds pour into Newby’s campaign for N.C. Supreme Court (October 25, 2012)

A super PAC formed to keep conservative Justice Paul Newby on the state Supreme Court has spent more than $700,000 so far on television ads supporting him. The N.C. Judicial Coalition has spent the money at 10 TV stations around the state, a review of those station’s records shows, for ads airing in October and early November. Newby's opponent, appellate court Judge Sam Ervin IV, also appears to now be getting some support from outside groups.

NC court candidate backed by outside group, too (October 22, 2012)

The North Carolina Supreme Court candidate criticizing how independent committees are spending money to back his rival with commercials and billboards is being supported by an outside group too. North Carolina Citizens for Protecting Our Schools is listed as paying for a mailer and mobile phone ad that praises Court of Appeals Judge Sam Ervin IV. He and Associate Justice Paul Newby are running for the state's highest court.

NC outside group begins running TV ad for Newby (October 19, 2012)

The state Supreme Court campaign of Sam Ervin IV is accusing outside groups of trying to “buy a seat" on the state's highest court through their own TV commercials and billboards. The ad by Ervin, a Court of Appeals judge challenging Associate Justice Paul Newby, comes as an independent expenditure group - a so-called "super" PAC - began running its own TV commercial backing Newby last week.

Wake school board's Goldman named colleague Malone in theft (October 20, 2012)

While they were both serving on the Wake County school board in June of 2010, state auditor candidate Debra Goldman named House candidate Chris Malone as a possible suspect when she reported a burglary from her Cary home of $130,000 worth of property, according to a police report. Cary police interviewed Malone and dropped him as a suspect after an investigation, but not before recording conflicting statements from both Goldman and Malone about whether they had a romantic relationship.

N.C. Railroad (October 23, 2012)

The N.C. Railroad is North Carolina’s oldest private corporation, chartered in 1849. The state has been its sole shareholder since 1998. Its 13 board members are appointed by the governor and the legislature. The NCRR owns 317 miles of tracks in a 200-foot-wide corridor through 16 counties, from Charlotte to the Morehead City port. Norfolk Southern Railroad pays $14 million a year to lease the tracks for its freight trains. The NCRR does not operate trains.

State immigration legislation returns to forefront after the election (October 24, 2012)

House Republicans shelved immigration legislation earlier this year, cognizant of the pending Supreme Court ruling and election year politics. But if they retain control, the GOP would clearly return the issue to the forefront. A House committee looking at controversial immigration legislation approved in Arizona and Alabama announced Wednesday that it will meet Nov. 13 -- exactly one week after the election.

Duke Energy again postpones rate increase request (October 25, 2012)

Duke Energy Corp. is postponing its plans to seek a rate hike for North Carolina customers until the first quarter of next year. The Charlotte-based utility had planned to file the request with the state’s utilities commission by the end of the year. Earlier this month, Duke’s Progress Energy Carolinas subsidiary filed a request for its first general rate increase since 1987, asking regulators to boost revenues by about $387 million a year.

Duke Documents (October 19, 2012)

The state Utilities Commission on Friday gave Duke Energy 10 days to publicly disclose thousands of pages of documents involving its merger with Progress Energy. Utilities regulators and North Carolina's attorney general are investigating Duke Energy over its surprise ouster of Progress Energy CEO Bill Johnson, who was supposed to take over the combined company.

Legislative Calendar

Mon, October 29, 2012 

  • Task Force on Employee Misclassification
    • 10:00 AM 

Thu, November 08, 2012 

  • Revenue Laws Study Committee
    • 9:30 AM 
  • Digital Learning Environments in Public Schools
    • 1:00 PM   
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