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North Carolina Legislative Report - March 8, 2013

March 2 - 8, 2013

The NC General Assembly reconvened January 9, 2013, opening the long legislative session. 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.

On the Floor

Governor’s Office

Governor Pat McCrory signed four bills into law Wednesday afternoon, all of which have been the subject of a fair amount of public discussion. Read more.

HB 66: Captivity License and Permit Amendments
A bill to amend the law providing for the issuance of captivity licenses and permits by the Wildlife Resources Commission. This is the measure aimed at allowing the annual Possum Drop in western North Carolina go forward.

HB 5: Temporary Funding/Group Homes & SCUs
A bill to provide temporary, short-term financial assistance to group homes and special care units. This measure avoids a situation in which group homes and Alzheimer's care units would have to displace residents.

SB 4: No N.C. Exchange/No Medicaid Expansion
A bill to clarify the state's intent not to operate a state-run health benefit exchange, to provide that future Medicaid eligibility determinations will be made by the state rather than the federally facilitated exchange and to reject the Affordable Care Act's optional Medicaid expansion. Some have argued that the state should have accepted the money.

HB 19: Respect our Fallen Heroes
A bill to honor fallen heroes by strengthening the law that prohibits disorderly conduct at funerals, memorial services or processional routes. The measure is aimed at stopping disrespectful, and often unrelated protests, at military funerals.

Senate

HB 82: Internal Revenue Code Update

With the Senate's final approval Wednesday, a measure to let a modest state tax credit for low- and moderate-income taxpayers expire in 2013 is headed to Gov. Pat McCrory. The measure sunsets the earned income tax credit (EITC) -- after a one-year extension -- drew the scorn of some lawmakers, who unsuccessfully sought to extend it. The legislation lowers the state's tax break slightly for the 2013 tax year because the federal tax credit increased.

HB 10: Remove Route Restriction for NC 540 Loop

The Senate has given final approval to a measure that would allow the N.C. Highway 540 project to move forward but would leave three other turnpike projects in limbo. The final vote Thursday was 33-17. Read more.

House of Representatives

SB 10: Government Reorganization and Efficiency Act

State House lawmakers voted 71-43 Monday night to approve a proposal to eliminate, fire or reconfigure more than two dozen state oversight boards. Senate Bill 10, which would allow Republican leaders and Gov. Pat McCrory to name political appointees as replacements to the boards, is now headed back to the Senate, where it will likely be kicked to a conference committee. Read more.

Committee Meetings

Senate Education/Higher Education Committee

The Senate Education/Higher Education Committee met on Wednesday to discuss two bills, specifically House Bill 23, which requires that teachers and school administrators receive training on how to effectively utilize technologies in the classroom.  Senator Dan Soucek explained the bill and offered an amendment that removed the designated number of hours from the bill and offers the school flexibility in when and how to effectively train their staff.  The proposed committee substitute, including the amendment, received a favorable report from the committee.

Senate Agriculture /Environment/Natural Resources Committee

The Senate Agriculture/Environment/Natural Resources Committee met Tuesday to address the following trio of bills. 

SB 24: Construction/Demolition Landfill Siting, amends the state law governing the siting of sanitary landfills.  SB 24 amends the gameland buffer requirement to allow for the siting of a construction/demolition only landfill within 500 feet of a state gameland owned or leased by the Wildlife Resources Commission. This bill was passed out of committee and the Senate as a whole by a vote of 50-0.

SB 58: Increase Funding for Dredging, directs the Wildlife Resources Commission to direct fifty percent of one and three year vessel numbering fees to the Shallow Draft Inlet Fund.  SB 58 received a favorable report and was referred to Senate Finance Committee.

SB 113: DENR Support for Regional Water Supply System, requires the Department of Environment and Natural Resources to support the application of a regional water supply system for all required federal approvals.  This legislation is a result of a recommendation by the Environmental Review Commission.  SB 113 received a favorable report in committee and unanimous approval by the full Senate.

House Elections Committee

The House Elections Committee met this week to discuss possible voter fraud and hear a report from Board of Elections Director Gary Bartlett.  In his report, Bartlett referenced an ongoing investigation of possible fraud involving North Carolina and Florida voters.  Both states’ elections boards are looking into whether or not five citizens cast votes in each state during the 2012 elections.  The committee will reconvene next Tuesday afternoon for a public hearing on Voter ID legislation.

In the News

Charlotte Observer: MetLife to bring 2,600 jobs to Charlotte and Cary

In one of the biggest jobs announcement in state history, Gov. Pat McCrory Thursday announced the arrival of 2,600 jobs with insurance giant MetLife, with half coming to Charlotte.

Charlotte Observer: Lawmakers to Charlotte: Our stadium offer is best you'll get

Rejecting a plea from tourism officials, a bipartisan group of Charlotte lawmakers indicated Wednesday that their proposal to help finance renovations at Bank of America Stadium might be the best the city can hope for.

Raleigh News&Observer: NAACP vows to fight N.C. voter ID efforts

Critics of a proposed voter photo ID law vowed Thursday to launch a vigorous effort to fight the proposal, saying it amounted to a 21st-century version of the poll tax used to keep blacks from voting.

Charlotte Observer: Charlotte charter school can’t open because of plagiarism allegation

Cameron Creek Charter won’t be allowed to open in east Charlotte this year, based on accusations that it cut and pasted large parts of its application from another Charlotte proposal.

WRAL: House committee considers lottery ad changes

North Carolina's lottery could keep  "education" in its official name but would face restrictions on advertising and more disclosure requirements under a bill heard by the House Judiciary Committee Wednesday.

Charlotte Observer: Clodfelter may seek return to council

Veteran North Carolina Sen. Dan Clodfelter may return to where his political career began – the Charlotte City Council.

AP: Report: NC teacher pay slides against peer states

North Carolina public school teachers saw their pay drop to among the lowest in the country as state budget-balancing during the Great Recession included a multi-year pay freeze, according to a report Wednesday to the State Board of Education.

WRAL: Bill would preclude employers from asking about felony convictions

A bill introduced in the House on Monday would prohibit employers from asking job applicants whether they are convicted felons.

AP: NC homeowner's insurance to rise average 7 percent

North Carolina's top state insurance regulator signed an agreement Tuesday allowing companies to raise homeowner's insurance policies by a statewide average of 7 percent a year starting in July.

AP: McCrory says cities are NC's economic engines

Gov. Pat McCrory says it's important to him to work closely with mayors of North Carolina's largest municipalities because the towns and cities are economic engines in the state's recovery.

Charlotte Observer: NC Gov. Pat McCrory: Slow down airport bill

A bill that would transfer control of Charlotte’s airport from the city to an independent authority should “slow down,” Gov. Pat McCrory said Monday.

National Journal: Berger Mulling N.C. Senate Race

As the GOP eyes pathways to a Senate majority in 2014, Phil Berger, the president pro tem of the North Carolina state Senate, says he's been mulling a campaign against Sen. Kay Hagan, who is among a handful of vulnerable Southern Democrats up for reelection.

Raleigh News&Observer: 70 NC charter schools apply to open in 2014

As many as 70 new charter schools could open in North Carolina in August 2014, including 16 in the Triangle, according to the state Department of Public Instruction.

Triangle Business Journal: N.C. cracks the Top 10 list in adding clean energy jobs

North Carolina was among the top 10 states in the production of clean energy jobs in 2012, according to the Washington-based group Environmental Entrepreneurs (E2).

Legislative Calendar

Mon, March 11, 2013

5:00 PM

Sen Curtis Meeting

423 LOB

7:00 PM

Session Convenes (House)

House

7:00 PM

Session Convenes (Senate)

Senate


Tue, March 12, 2013

8:30 AM

Appropriations Subcommittee on Transportation (Joint)

1228/1327 LB

8:30 AM

Appropriations Subcommittee on General Government (Joint)

1425 LB

8:30 AM

Joint Appropriations on Justice and Public Safety

415 LOB

8:30 AM

Appropriations Subcommittee on Education (Joint)

421 LOB

8:30 AM

Appropriations Subcommittee on Natural and Economic Resources (Joint)

423 LOB

8:30 AM

Appropriations Subcommittee on Health and Human Services (Joint)

643 LOB

10:00 AM

Judiciary I (Senate)

Mechanics Liens/Technical Corrections (H180)

Public Meeting/Records Law Violations (discussion only) (S125)

1027/1128 LB

10:00 AM

Judiciary II (Senate)

Lily's Law (S117)

1124/1224 LB

10:00 AM

Health and Human Services (House)

Enact CON Committee Recommendations. (H83)

Physician Suprvsn. Required/Nurse Anesthetist. (H181)

1228/1327 LB

11:00 AM

Commerce (Senate)

Banking Laws Clarifications/Corrections (S175)

Utilities/Design/Survey Location Services (S9)

1027/1128 LB

11:00 AM

Agriculture/Environment/Natural Resources (Senate)

Various Emergency Management Changes (S38)

Limit Regulation of Greenhouse Gas Emissions (S171)
Cleveland/Polk/Rutherford Trapping Repeal (H33)

544 LOB

12:00 PM

State and Local Government (Senate)

Carrboro Office of Alderman (S128)

Winston-Salem Franchises (S134)
Hookerton/Maysville Satellite Annexations (S177)

1124/1224 LB

12:00 PM

Transportation (House)

Permanent License Plates for Charter Schools. (H67)

Require Safety Helmets/18 and Under. (H109)
Revise Laws for Unoccupied School Buses. (H117)

643 LOB

1:00 PM

Insurance (House)

Dept. of Insurance/Public Health Service Act. (H170)

1228/1327 LB

4:00 PM

Elections (Public Hearing) -- CORRECTED (House)

643 LOB


Wed, March 13, 2013

8:30 AM

Appropriations Subcommittee on Transportation (Joint)

1228/1327 LB

8:30 AM

Appropriations Subcommittee on General Government (Joint)

1425 LB

8:30 AM

Joint Appropriations on Justice and Public Safety

415 LOB

8:30 AM

Appropriations Subcommittee on Education (Joint)

421 LOB

8:30 AM

Appropriations Subcommittee on Natural and Economic Resources (Joint)

423 LOB

8:30 AM

Appropriations Subcommittee on Health and Human Services (Joint)

643 LOB

10:00 AM

Judiciary Subcommittee A -- CORRECTED (House)

Amend Habitual DWI. (H40)

Public Agency Computer Code Not Public Record. (H125)
Discharged Veterans/Identity Theft Protection. (S50)
WC/Taxi Driver/Independent Contractor. (H163)

1228/1327 LB

10:00 AM

Judiciary Subcommittee C (House)

Amend Info Prov./Non-Cust. Parent/Child Supp. (H189)

Amend Domestic Violence/Civil No-Contact Laws. (H209)

415 LOB

10:00 AM

Judiciary Subcommittee B (House)

Amend Habitual DWI. (H31)

Increase Year's Allowance. (H32)
Incapacity to Proceed Amendments. (H88)
Honest Lottery Act. (H156)
Allow Hospitals to Test Blood for DWI. (H183)

421 LOB

10:00 AM

Regulatory Reform Subcommittee on Business and Labor (House)

Youth Skin Cancer Prevention Act. (H18)

424 LOB

10:00 AM

Education/Higher Education (Senate)

Lottery Funds Used for Digital Learning (S119)

Clarify Education Reporting Requirements (S168)

544 LOB

10:00 AM

Regulatory Reform Subcommittee on Local Government (House)

Zoning/Design & Aesthetic Controls. (H150)

643 LOB

12:00 PM

Public Utilities and Energy (House)

Electric Membership Corps/Member Control. (H223)

643 LOB


Thu, March 14, 2013

8:30 AM

Appropriations Subcommittee on General Government (Joint)

1425 LB

8:30 AM

Joint Appropriations on Justice and Public Safety

415 LOB

8:30 AM

Joint Appropriations on Education/Higher Education

421 LOB

8:30 AM

Appropriations Subcommittee on Natural and Economic Resources (Joint)

423 LOB

8:30 AM

Appropriations Subcommittee on Health and Human Services (Joint)

643 LOB


Thu, March 21, 2013

8:30 AM

Appropriations Subcommittee on Education (Joint)

421 LOB


Mon, March 25, 2013

4:00 PM

Joint Legislative Program Evaluation Oversight Committee

544 LOB


Tue, April 09, 2013

11:45 AM

Rep. D. Ross/NC Women United's Press Conference

Press Room LB


Wed, April 10, 2013

12:00 PM

Rep. Carney

Press Room LB

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For more information or to be added to our distribution list, please feel free to contact our North Carolina Legislative team