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North Carolina Legislative Report - May 22, 2015

May 22, 2015

The General Assembly convened for the 2015 legislative session on January 14. Lawmakers returned to Raleigh on January 28 to begin the session in earnest. The MVA Public Affairs Legislative Report on North Carolina will be distributed on a weekly basis to keep you up to date on the latest legislative issues facing the state.

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On The Floor

For legislative action lookup by day, click below:

Committees

House Finance Committee

The Committee met Monday, May 18, to consider the finance portions of H 97, 2015 Appropriations Act.  After over two hours of debate and discussion of amendments, the Committee approved the package and re-referred the bill to the House Appropriations Committee.  Key finance provisions of H 97 include: the authorization of up to $270 million in general obligation indebtedness for various building projects; a two-year extension of the renewable energy tax credit; authorization of an historic preservation tax credit; allowance of an income tax deduction for medical expenses; extension of sales tax preferences related to motorsports; creation of sales tax preferences related to data centers; and increases in numerous DMV fees.

Senate Commerce Committee

The Committee met twice this week.  On Tuesday, May 19, the Committee approved one bill.  H 332, Energy Policy Amendments, would provide recovery of capital related to costs incurred by a natural gas utility for constructing natural gas infrastructure for a large manufacturing employer and amend the laws related to energy policy.  A proposed committee substitute was adopted during the meeting, which added language to the original bill that would freeze the state’s renewable energy portfolio standard.

On Thursday, the Committee approved two bills.  H 909, Sale of Antique Spirituous Liquor, would authorize and regulate the sale of antique spirituous liquor.  S 716, Mountain Energy Act of 2015, would direct the NC Utilities Commission to render an expedited decision, under certain conditions, on an application for a certificate of public convenience and necessity for an applicant to construct a generating facility that uses natural gas as the primary fuel. The bill would also modify certain requirements under the Coal Ash Management Act of 2014 for coal ash surface impoundments located on sites at which all coal-fired generating units present on those sites will permanently cease operations by January 31, 2020.

Senate Finance Committee

The Committee met on Wednesday, May 20, and approved four bills. S 218, Town of Franklin/Satellite Annexation; S 256, Durham Voluntary Annexation/Adjacent Streets; and S 141, Waynesville Annexation/Referendum.

The Committee also approved H 332, Energy Policy Amendments.  H 332 would provide recovery of capital related costs incurred by a natural gas utility for constructing natural gas infrastructure for a large manufacturing employer and would freeze the state’s renewable energy portfolio standard.

Senate Agriculture/Environment/Natural Resources Committee

The Committee met Wednesday, May 20, and passed four bills. H 574, Opossum Exclusion From Wildlife Laws, aims to exclude opossums from wildlife regulation from December 29 through January 2 to allow for a New Year’s Eve event that involves lowering an opossum at midnight to celebrate the new year.  S 573, Strengthen Oyster Industry, promotes the growth of the State’s oyster farming industry. S 486, NC Trail Expansion/Economic Corridors, seeks to enhance economic development through the expansion of the state trails network. H 795, SEPA Reform, seeks to reform and amend the State Environmental Policy Act. 

In The News

Raleigh News & Observer: NC House budget passes in 93-23 bipartisan vote

Charlotte Observer: Coal ash begins exit from Riverbend power plantWinston-Salem Journal: DENR to begin shale-gas exploration in June in Stokes County

Charlotte Observer: Green energy finds a defender in former Duke Energy chief

Raleigh News & Observer: Judge halts N.C. fracking commission from issuing drilling permits

Charlotte Observer: Charlotte population tops 800,000, new census estimates show

Charlotte Observer: Senate committee OKs green-energy freeze

Calendar

Tue, May 26, 2015

10:00 AM

Judiciary I (Senate)

Assault Emergency Workers/Hospital Personnel. (H560)
Fostering Success. (S424)
Dispose of Remaining Toxicology Funds. (S660)

1027/1128 LB

12:00 PM

State and Local Government (Senate)

to be determined

423 LOB

1:00 PM

Session Convenes (House)

 House

2:00 PM

Session Convenes (Senate)

 Senate


Wed, May 27, 2015

10:00 AM

Agriculture/Environment/Natural Resources (Senate)

 544 LOB

12:30 PM

Judiciary III (House)

Criminal Law/Filing False Document. (S83)
Custodial Parent/Party Cooperate w/Child Supp. (S114)
Landlord/Tenant-Alias & Pluries Summary Eject. (S269)
Register of Deeds/Filing False Marriage Docs. (S311)
Amend Uniform Interstate Family Support Act.-AB (S488)

421 LOB

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