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North Carolina Legislative Report - April 12, 2013

April 5 - 12, 2013

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 

  • H 293 - Mortgages/S.A.F.E. Act
    Passed first reading in Senate. Referred to Senate Commerce Committee 4/9/13
  • H 156 – Honest Lottery Act
    Passed third reading in the House. Ordered engrossed 4/11/13
  • H 193 – Expand Uses for Meck Ct/Charlotte Local Taxes
    Passed third reading in Senate. Ordered enrolled 4/11/13

 

Committee Meetings

House Education Committee

The House Education Committee met Tuesday to take up a pair of bills aimed at graduation requirements and school security.  H 127, Arts Education Requirement, directs the State Board of Education to require one arts education credit for graduation.  If this legislation becomes law it would be implemented with students entering the ninth grade in 2016.  H 127 was given a favorable report in committee and ultimately passed out of the House.

H 452, 2013 School Safety Act, aimed at boosting school security in North Carolina was given approval by the Committee.  This bill would require public schools to improve safety by implementing measures such as training programs and purchasing equipment to respond to threats, coordination with local police, class room alarms and anonymous tip lines for students.  In addition schools would be encouraged to provide more officers and counselors on campus.  H 452 will go to Appropriations before hitting the House floor.

House Environment Committee

The House Environment Committee debated and favorably reported H 484, Permitting of Wind Energy Facilities, out of committee today.  H 484 seeks to establish a system of permits for the siting and operation of wind energy facilities.  The bill has been referred to the House Public Utilities and Energy Committee.

House Finance Committee

The House Finance Committee met on Tuesday to hear three local bills, all of which were approved by the committee with little debate – H 261, Kannapolis Deannexation; H 290, Rutherford Airport Authority; and H 334, Buncombe Cty Sales Tax Use Expansion.  The House also heard three public bills.  H 301, Clarifying Changes/Engineers/Surveyors Laws, and H 439, Economic Development Jobsites Program, received limited debate and passed easily.  H 301 makes some changes with respect to the licensure of engineers and surveyors.  H 439 allows for a property tax benefit for certain types of land held for development as an industrial park.  Finally, the Committee also heard H 488, Reorganization of Public Utilities.  The bill would require any water and sewer system that serves a population greater than one hundred twenty thousand (120,000) people, that is not operated as either a joint or regional public water system, to be transferred to the metropolitan sewerage district in the county in which the public water system is located.  While the bill is a statewide bill, it is designed to affect only the water and sewer system of the City of Asheville.  There was a great deal of debate about this bill, but it was approved by a vote of 18-10.

Senate Agriculture, Environment and Natural Resources Committee

This week the Senate Agriculture/Environment/Natural Resources Committee passed four bills out of committee.  S 163, Protect Landowners’ Water Rights, seeks to enhance the protection of landowners’ water rights.  S 201, seeks to allow hunting with a suppressor or other device designed to muffle or minimize the report of a firearm.  S 234, Hunter Education/Apprentice Permit, seeks to amend and clarify the hunter education requirements and to establish a hunting heritage apprentice permit.  S 455, Increased Penalty/Seed Law Violations, seeks to increase penalties for violation of the seed law.

Senate Commerce Committee

The Senate Commerce Committee met on Tuesday to take up four bills, all of which passed easily.  S 344, Vintage Auto Inspections, would streamline the process for titling older vehicles brought into the State.  S 358, Guaranteed Asset Protection Waivers, would formalize the procedures with respect to guaranteed asset protection (GAP) waivers.  GAP waivers are a type of insurance policy that will cover the difference between the vehicle's value and the outstanding balance on a loan in cases when the vehicle is totaled.   S470, No Beer/Wine if Permit Revoked/Suspended, would prohibit "brown-bagging" in establishments that have previously had an ABC permit revoked or suspended. S 635, Transmission Line Ownership, would clarify State law so that only a regulated utility company could own electricity transmission lines.  Without this clarification, under federal law some regional transmission lines in the State could be owned by third-party entities that are not regulated by the Utilities Commission.

Senate Finance Committee

The Senate Finance Committee met on Tuesday and Wednesday.  On Tuesday, the Committee discussed S 677, Corporate Income Tax Reduction and Reform.  S677 is the second piece of legislation sponsored by Senate leadership dealing with tax reform.  It would lower the corporate income tax rate, eliminate a number of adjustments and credits, and move to a single-factor sales apportionment formula.  When fully phased in, the bill would reduce General Fund revenues by over $330 million annually.  No votes were taken, as it was explained that the bill would be part of a larger package including personal income tax changes and sales and use tax changes that have not been seen yet. 

On Wednesday, the committee took up four bills.  H 193, Expand Uses for Meck Ct/Charlotte Local Taxes would allow the City of Charlotte to use existing local tax revenues for improvements to professional sports facilities and for amateur athletics facilities.  It was repeatedly made clear that the bill did not authorize new taxes, did not authorize raising taxes, and did not involve state revenue.  The bill passed unanimously.  S 290, Waynesville Annexation, is a local bill involving a voluntary annexation and was easily approved by the Committee.  S 6, UI Fund Changes, is a "clean-up" bill related to changes made with respect to unemployment insurance earlier in the session in H4, UI Fund Solvency and Program Changes (S.L. 2013-2).  It transfers funds between various State accounts as envisioned in the earlier proposal. The bill passed easily. Finally, the Committee heard S 337, NC Public Charter School Board.  The bill was in finance because of two provisions - one dealing with the application fee required of someone wanting to open a charter school and the other dealing with a clarification that property used wholly and exclusively as a charter school would qualify for an existing property tax exemption.  After some debate, the bill passed.

Senate Education Committee

The Senate Education Committee met Wednesday to take up a reform bill with the backing of Senate leader Phil Berger.  S 361, Excellent Public Schools Act of 2013, aims to end tenure for public school teachers among other measures first introduced in 2011. In this bill, teachers with at least three years of experience would evaluated by superintendents and school boards with the top 25 percent receiving four year contracts starting in the 2018-2019 school year. All other teachers would be given on year contracts.  

Other provisions in S 361 include assigning A-F letter grades to schools based on test results and other student achievement benchmarks, allowing state employees to volunteer for up five hours a month in school literacy programs, addition of teacher licensing requirements and professional development, and requirement to administer all end of year test outside of AP and IB exams during the last ten days of the school year or five days of the semester.  S 361 received a favorable report in committee and now heads to Senate Appropriations.

 

In the News

WRAL: House wants lottery players to know game's odds

The state House on Thursday approved legislation that would require the North Carolina Education Lottery to provide more information to the public about the odds of winning and the present value of jackpots.

WRAL: McCrory takes belt-tightening message to UNC system board

Gov. Pat McCrory on Thursday had his first meeting with the University of North Carolina Board of Governors since proposing massive cuts to the university system last month.

News&Observer: UNC set to name Dartmouth leader as next chancellor

Carol Folt, the interim president of Dartmouth College, will be the next chancellor at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, three sources close to the search said.

WRAL: Panthers bill passes

The bill that will allow Charlotte to use a pair of tourism taxes to pay for upgrades at Bank of America Stadium, where the Carolina Panthers play, is now law.

DENR: DENR Secretary Skvarla and State CIO Estes announce appointment of Keith Werner as DENR CIO

N.C. Department of Environment and Natural Resources Secretary John E. Skvarla, III and State Chief Information Officer Chris Estes announced on Wednesday the appointment of Keith Werner as chief information officer for the Department of Environment and Natural Resources.

WRAL: House parts ways with Senate on education reform

House leaders Wednesday unveiled a education reform package that differs substantially from a proposal backed by Senate leadership.

News&Observer: Bipartisan bill would take politics out of redistricting

RALEIGH — A bipartisan effort is underway in the legislature to change the way North Carolina draws its congressional and legislative lines, creating districts based more on geography and compactness rather than on parties, politics and personalities.

News&Observer: Study: NC has big drop in employer health coverage

RALEIGH, N.C. — A new study points to pressure on North Carolina workers by illustrating big declines in company-provided health insurance.

News&Observer: Hagan raising cash for 2014

U.S. Sen. Kay Hagan reports that she raised $1.6 million during the first quarter of the year for her re-election effort. The Greensboro Democrat ended the quarter with $2.7 million cash on hand.

WRAL: School safety bill advances in House

RALEIGH, N.C. — A wide-ranging bill to upgrade security at North Carolina public schools unanimously passed the House Education Committee on Tuesday.

WRAL: Rouzer to run for Congress again

Five months after losing the 7th District race to Congressman Mike McIntyre, Republican David Rouzer said Tuesday that he plans to run again for the seat in 2014.

WRAL: McCrory expects rewrite of renewable energy bill

Gov. Pat McCrory says he expects a bill that would, in its current form, end requirements for power companies to buy some energy from renewable energy companies.

CBJ: Gov. Pat McCrory announces major changes for NC Commerce

Gov. Pat McCrory on Monday announced a major overhaul of the N.C. Department of Commerce that will essentially make it a public-private partnership under the name Partnership for Prosperity.

WRAL: Red route' rewrite, teacher tech bills return to House

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.

AP: NC Family Policy Council hires Rustin as president

A former lobbyist for North Carolina's leading socially conservative lobbying group at the legislature will return to the organization as its executive director.

Press Release: API hires David McGowan to lead North Carolina Petroleum Council

The American Petroleum Institute (API) today announced David McGowan as the new executive director of the North Carolina Petroleum Council (NCPC).

News&Observer: Rejected NC charter applicants wait decision on second chance

An advisory council will wait until Tuesday to decide what to do with more than two dozen charter school applications that were rejected for the 2014-15 school year.

AP: Charlotte Motor Speedway sues over $80 million deal

The mogul behind one of the country's largest auto racing track operators is trying to resurrect a lawsuit claiming local officials reneged on an offer of $80 million in incentives to land a new drag strip and upgrade the Charlotte Motor Speedway.

AP: Charlotte Mayor Foxx will not seek re-election

Mayor Anthony Foxx, considered a rising star in the Democratic Party, said Friday he would not run for re-election, but he didn't indicate what he planned to do next.

 

Legislative Calendar

Mon, April 15, 2013

7:00 PM 

Session Convenes (House)

House

7:00 PM 

Session Convenes (Senate)

Senate


Tue, April 16, 2013

10:00 AM 

Health and Human Services (House)

Tier II Medicaid Personal Care Services for Alzheimers/Dementia. (H492)
Encourage Volunteer Care in Free Clinics. (S83)
Develop Rules for Release of Path Materials. (S240)
Collaboration Among State Diabetes Programs. (S336)

544 LOB

12:00 PM 

State and Local Government (Senate)

Notice Publication by Some Local Govs. (S287)

1124/1224 LB

12:00 PM 

Transportation (House)

Operation of Mopeds. (H48)
DOT Condemnation Changes. (H272)
Turnpike Authority/No Bill Until $5 Owed. (H540)

643 LOB

1:00 PM 

Insurance (House)

Automobile Insurance Regulatory Modernization. (H265)

1228/1327 LB

1:00 PM 

Agriculture (House)

Rockingham/No Right-of-Way Spotlighting. (H517)
Commodities Producer Protection. (H663)
Suspend Truck Inspection/Severe Weather. (H584)

643 LOB


Wed, April 17, 2013

8:30 AM 

Finance (House)

Adjust Landfill Permit Fee Timing. (H135)
PED Study Occ. Lic Bd. Agency. (H166)
Volunteer Fire Dept. Sales Tax Refund Change. (H242)
Taxpayer Debt Information Act. (H248)
Park Fees for Active Duty Military/Veterans. (H325)
UNC School of Arts/Student Fees. (H336)
State Contracts/Furniture. (H449)
Wallace/Satellite Annexations. (S56)

544 LOB

10:00 AM 

Judiciary Subcommittee A (House)

HOAs/Voluntary Prelitigation Mediation. (H278)
Amend Laws Pertaining to DHHS.-AB (H399)
MHDDSA Providers As Uncompensated Guardians. (H543)
Register of Deeds Hours. (H593)
Concealed Carry/Clerk of Court. (H600)
Amend Funeral Procession Law. (H660)

1228/1327 LB

10:00 AM 

Regulatory Reform Subcommittee on Environmental (House)

Plastics Labeling Requirements. (H315)
Winston-Salem/Seismic Codes. (H318)

1425 LB

10:00 AM 

Judiciary Subcommittee C (House)

Name Change Requirements for Minors. (S369)
Bail Bondsman Credentials/Official Shield. (H597)
Involuntary Commitment Custody Orders. (H635)
Amend Deferred Prosecution/1st Drug Offense. (H641)
Inheritance by Illegitimate Child. (H652)

415 LOB

10:00 AM 

Judiciary Subcommittee B (House)

Criminal Law/Procedure Amendments. (H217)
Planned Community Act/Declarant Rights. (H330)
HOAs/Uniform Lien Procedure. (H331)
Notary Act/Satisfaction of Security Interests. (H332)
Distribute Some Criminal Penalties Statewide. (H497)
Increased Penalty/Seed Law Violations.-AB (H369)
Cancel Title to Manufactured Home. (H410)

421 LOB

10:00 AM 

Rep. Carney - Press Conference

Press Room LB

11:00 AM 

Rep. Harrison - Press Conference

Press Room LB

12:00 PM 

Rep. McGrady - Press Conference

Press Room LB

1:30 PM 

Rep. Avila - Press Conference

Press Room LB

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