North Carolina Legislative Report - October 18, 2013
October 4 - 18, 2013
The General Assembly has officially completed its business for the 2013 long session. The 2014 short session will begin on Wednesday, May 14, 2014. The MVA Public Affairs Legislative Report on North Carolina will be distributed bi-weekly to keep you up to date on the latest legislative issues facing the state during the interim.
Environmental Review Commission
On Wednesday, October 9, the Environmental Review Commission had its first meeting of the 2013-14 interim. The Commission heard brief remarks from Secretary Skvarla of the Department for Environment and Natural Resources. Secretary Skvarla’s remarks were followed by lengthy presentations from Mitch Gillespie, Assistant Secretary for Environment, and Brad Ives, Assistant Secretary for Natural Resources, on the work of the divisions that each of them oversees. The Commission then heard a brief update on efforts by the City of Creedmoor to obtain federal funding for a wastewater treatment plant. The proposal has been somewhat controversial because there is an existing wastewater treatment plant in the area with enough excess capacity to absorb the entire capacity of the proposed plant and because the proposed plant would have the impact of removing water from the Neuse River basin, which supplies the City of Raleigh’s primary source of water at Falls Lake. For those reasons, officials at the NC Department of Environment and Natural Resources thought it was unlikely that the plant could obtain federal funding.
Joint Legislative Oversight Committee On Information Technology
The Joint Legislative Oversight Committee on Information Technology held its first meeting of the the interim on Tuesday, October 8. The Committee started the day by meeting jointly with the Health and Human Services Oversight Committee to look in to issues surrounding NC Tracks, the Medicaid bill paying system. Following this session, the Committee held an introductory meeting to give members an overview of IT in state government and discuss the procurement and project management process. The Committee is scheduled to hold its next meeting in November.
Revenue Laws Study Committee
Last week, the Revenue Laws Study Committee had its first meeting of the 2013-14 interim. As is typical of the first meeting, the Committee began with an introduction of the Committee members and staff and a review of relevant legislation enacted during the 2013 Session. The Committee next moved into a more in-depth discussion of changes made with respect to the sales and use tax. In particular, the Committee focused on a handful of items involving the sales and use tax for which an individual, legislator, or the Department of Revenue had identified the need for more clarification. These items involved the taxation of meal plans sold by colleges and universities, newspapers, service contracts and admissions. The Committee had planned to hear a presentation on the issue of how the sales tax is applied in the case of performance contractors and how the Department distinguishes whether a transaction involves a performance contract or a retail sale of tangible personal property accompanied by installation services. However, the Committee’s discussion of items needing clarification lasted longer than anticipated and the presentation with respect to performance contracts was rescheduled for the Committee’s next meeting on Tuesday, November 12.
In the News
Charlotte Observer: Ruth Samuelson says she won’t run for re-election in 2014
News & Observer: Hagan’s popularity declines, but she still would beat Republicans
Hendersonville Lightning: Citing NC's 'race to the bottom,' Wood will challenge Sen. Apodaca
Charlotte Observer: Fate of local job-recruitment agency an “open question” as statewide revamp moves ahead
News & Observer: Roy Cooper to headline LGBT gala
WRAL: Auditor raises questions about DHHS answers on Medicaid IT
Star News and Observer: Democrats considering bid for Goolsby's seat
AP: New government center seeks better IT management
AP: N.C. governor will name panel despite opposing it
NC Construction News: $90 Million in State Repair Work Planned