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North Carolina Legislative Newsletter - June 10, 2016

June 10, 2016

LEGISLATIVE ACTIVITY

Budget

On Wednesday, June 8, the House voted not to concur with the Senate budget, as expected. Both chambers appointed conferees (44 House members and 21 Senate members) to begin resolving differences and work out a final budget package.

 Associated Press: House reject Senate budget bill, setting up negotiations

 Coal Ash

On Monday, June 6, the Governor vetoed SB 71, which would re-establish the Coal Ash Management Commission to make determinations about the closure of coal ash ponds. The bill also addresses how to provide permanent, piped drinking water to residents surrounding coal ash impoundments, and it extends the public comment period for the proposed risk classifications.

It was originally expected the General Assembly would attempt to override the veto, but it is now being reported that Senate leaders are working on a compromise with the Governor.

WRAL: Senate 'unlikely' to override coal ash veto

I-77 Managed Lanes

Last week the House voted 81-27 to approve HB 954, which terminates the contract between NCDOT and I-77 Mobility Partners for the I-77 managed lanes project north of Charlotte. The bill redirects dollars earmarked for other area projects to create a reserve account to pay for damages or monetary penalties from contract termination. According to media reports, NCDOT has estimated penalties for cancellation could cost up to $250 million. The bill has been referred to the Senate Transportation Committee.

Finance/Tax

The House Finance Committee received an overview of tax provisions included in the Senate budget. Most of the discussion in the Committee centered around the Senate's plan to amend provisions of the sales tax statutes applicable to repair, maintenance and installation services, and the impact of the Senate's plan to implement market-based sourcing for corporate tax purposes.

Charter School Funding

HB 539 was brought up for discussion only in a House Education Committee meeting this week. The bill would make changes to the types of funds that must be part of the local current expense fund and those that can be held in separate accounts that do not have to be shared with charter schools. The bill also would allow various federal grants, gifts or sales tax revenues to be provided to charter schools, which has not been allowed in the past.

WRAL: House lawmakers skeptical of controversial charter school funding bill

Math Standard Course of Study Revisions

HB 657 was introduced this week and passed out of the Senate Education Committee. The bill would allow students to choose between two high school math routes, one based in a "traditional" curriculum and the other in a new "integrated" course of study. The bill is scheduled to be discussed on the Senate Floor Monday, June 13. It is unclear whether this bill will be considered in the House.

Raleigh News & Observer: High schoolers would choose between two types of math classes under NC Senate bill

Regulatory Reform

Separate regulatory bills dealing with a variety of state regulatory laws saw activity in both chambers this week. SB 303, Regulatory Reform Act of 2016, has made its way through the House and is on the calendar for consideration on the floor. In the Senate, HB 169, Regulatory Reduction Act of 2016, has bounced between the floor and committee this week. Coming out of committee for a second time, the revised bill is scheduled to be considered on the Senate floor Monday, June 13.

Associated Press: Annual regulatory overhaul happening at General Assembly

Congressional Primary Elections

A special congressional primary was held Tuesday, June 7, due to federal court action declaring two of North Carolina's congressional districts to be illegally gerrymandered.  The ruling came too late to have state lawmakers re-draw new boundaries for the March primary voting date, so the congressional elections had to be pushed to June.

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