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North Carolina Legislative Report - February 1, 2013

January 26 - February 1, 2013

On the Floor

The NC General Assembly reconvened January 9, 2013 opening the long legislative session. Lawmakers returned Thursday and began working quickly to move priority bills through the legislature.

The MVA Public Affairs Legislative Report on North Carolina will be distributed weekly to keep you up to date on the latest legislative issues facing the state while the North Carolina Legislature is in session.

Committee Meetings

House Appropriations Committee

The House Appropriations Committee met this week to vote on HB-5, which would provide temporary funding extension for group homes. The bill, approved in committee, was unanimously passed by the House. The bill now heads to the Senate, which has not shown the same sense of urgency as the lower chamber.

House Finance Committee

The House Finance Committee met on Thursday to discuss HB-4, The Unemployment Insurance Solvency & Program Changes bill.  Representative Julia Howard (R-Davie, Forsyth) chaired the meeting.  The committee heard amendments from Representatives Luebke, Alexander, Tine and Ross, however none were passed.  Public comments were provided by Bill Rowe of the NC Justice Center and Mike Okun of the AFL-CIO regarding the need for more public discussion on the bill before leaving committee.  The meeting concluded with HB-4 Proposed Committee Substitute (PCS) passing by a vote of 24-13.  HB-4 PCS has been calendared for a second reading in the House on Monday, February 4th.

 

In the News

McCrory warns: Streetcar could risk Charlotte's light rail money – 2/1/2013

Gov. Pat McCrory told two city of Charlotte staff members this week that state money for the light-rail extension to UNC Charlotte could be at risk if the city builds a controversial streetcar, according to a memo sent Thursday.

NC House panel, McCrory back unemployment debt fix – 2/1/2013

A Republican effort to overhaul North Carolina's unemployment system and speed up repayment of $2.5 billion owed to the federal government cleared a House panel, despite Democratic and worker advocate complaints the proposal was skewed against the jobless.

Gun control battle carries risks for Senator Hagan – 1/31/2013

As a Democrat from a swing state, Sen. Kay Hagan of North Carolina already faces a tough re-election fight next year. But with gun control emerging as a key political issue in the wake of the shootings in Newtown, Conn., last month that left 20 elementary school students dead, holding onto her seat could become even more of a challenge.

Bill would let N.C. teachers and volunteers carry guns in school – 1/31/2013

Gun-toting teachers and armed school volunteers would be permitted in North Carolina’s public schools under legislation that would expand who could legally have firearms on campus.

NC Senate committee moves to limit state role in federal health care reform – 1/31/2013

The state Senate’s insurance committee wasted little time in approving a bill to block expansion of Medicaid to poor adults in North Carolina and to require the state to hand over all aspects of its new health insurance exchange to the federal government.

Tillis urges Senate to move on group home fix – 1/31/2013

House lawmakers unanimously approved a bill today that will make group homes eligible for emergency state supplemental funds through June 30.

Berger named to national political post – 1/31/2013

Senator Phil Berger (R-Rockingham), the president pro tempore of the state Senate, has been appointed chairman of the 2013 Executive Committee for the Republican Legislative Campaign Committee, a group that supports GOP campaigns for state legislatures.

GOP moves for partisan judicial elections again – 1/31/2013

There will be an attempt to make judicial elections partisan again. SB39 would require state all Supreme Court, Court of Appeals, superior and district court judges to run by party affiliation.

Audit: Mismanagement costs NC Medicaid system millions – 1/31/2013

Inefficient management and lax oversight of contracts led to North Carolina spending much more to administer its Medicaid program than similar-size states, officials said.

Political handicapper ranks Hagan seat ‘leans Democrat’ – 1/26/2013

The Rothenberg Political Report ranks U.S. Senator Kay Hagan’s seat “leans Democrat” in the first 2014 Senate election ratings. The report – a leading Washington handicapper – says: “Given the GOP’s recent victories in the state, Hagan is almost guaranteed a serious challenge.”

Legislators' priorities – 1/25/2013

Senator Thom Goolsby (R-New Hanover) will again pursue legislation that would criminalize violations of the open meetings and public records laws to encourage government transparency.

NC League of Municipalities’ Goals – 1/25/2013

The N.C. League of Municipalities last week approved its Top 25 list of goals for the 2013-14 session.

McCrory to decide soon on federal jobless benefits – 1/25/2013

Gov. Pat McCrory says he'll decide next week whether to support a push to make changes to the state's unemployment system in July, even if it means cutting off federal aid to the state's long-term jobless.

House speaker positions himself cautiously on tax overhaul – 1/25/2013

Republican House Speaker Thom Tillis is the latest Republican to express reservations about a plan to eliminate the state's income taxes.  

 

Legislative Calendar

Fri, February 01, 2013

  • 10:00 AM             General Statutes Commission       1027/1128 LB

Mon, February 04, 2013

  • 7:00 PM               Session Convenes (House)            House
  • 7:00 PM               Session Convenes (Senate)            Senate

Tue, February 05, 2013

  • 10:00 AM             Education (House) Joint Session/State Bd of Ed Confirmation. (H21) 643 LOB

Wed, February 06, 2013

  • 10:00 AM             North Carolina Retail Merchants Association Food Drive Press Conference Press Room LB
  • 4:00 PM               Joint International Business Caucus           1228/1327 LB

Thu, February 07, 2013

  • 12:00 PM             Homeland Security, Military, and Veterans Affairs (House)               421 LOB

Tue, February 19, 2013

  • 12:00 PM             Press Conference/Rep. R. Moore               Press Room LB
  • 1:00 PM               Rep. Moore/Common Cause Lobby Day   415 LOB
  • 1:00 PM               Rep. Moore/Common Cause Lobby Day   605 LOB

Wed, February 27, 2013

  • 9:00 AM               NCTA PRESS CONFERENCE            Press Room LB

Tue, April 09, 2013

  • 11:45 AM             Rep. D. Ross/NC Women United's Press Conference           Press Room LB
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