North Carolina Legislative Report

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The General Assembly’s Short Session began on Wednesday, May 14, 2014.  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.

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GOVERNOR’S DESK

On Tuesday, the Governor signed H 230, Clarify Read to Achieve/School Performance Grades, into law.

ON THE FLOOR

The week, the Senate passed S 879, Honor Zeb Alley, H 133, Charlotte Airport Commission Clarifications and S 648, the NC Commerce Protection Act of 2014. 

The House passed H 1069, Unemployment Insurance Law Changes and an amended version of S 744, the Appropriations Act of 2014.  The House and Senate will begin to meet next week to work out the differences between the House passed budget and the Senate passed budget.        

Committee Reports

Senate Appropriations/Base Budget Committee

The Committee took up the House version of the budget on Wednesday, June 11.   The House Appropriations Committee co-chairs and Subcommittee chairs reviewed the provisions included in the House budget for other members of the House Appropriations Committee and the public.  The Committee passed the bill.

Senate Education/Higher Education Committee

The Committee met Wednesday, June 11, to take up two bills, S 793, Charter School Modifications, and H 1060, Military Student Identifier. The Committee discussed S 793, which intends to amend required public disclosures for charter schools in the State. The Committee Substitute passed by voice vote with only one dissenting voice.

Senate Health Care Committee

The Committee met Wednesday, June 11 to take up one bill, S 749, Strengthen Controlled Substances Monitoring. Members heard reports from staff regarding the intent of the bill – reducing prescription drug abuse – and discussed possible changes. The Committee Substitute was passed by a voice vote.

Senate Commerce Committee

The Senate Commerce Committee met on Wednesday, June 11, and approved three bills, each of which do just as its title suggests.  S 742, Adjust the Utility Regulatory Fee, and H 1074, Confirm Linda Combs as State Controller, passed the Committee easily with little debate or controversy.  H 1112, Confirm Charlton L. Allen to Industrial Comm., passed a sharply divided Committee after a great deal of debate.  Debate centered around statements made by Mr. Allen in the past with respect to the minimum wage and worker protections and around controversial actions Mr. Allen had participated in while a college student.

Senate Finance Committee

The Senate Finance Committee met on Tuesday, June 10, and Wednesday, June 11.  On Tuesday, the Committee approved six bills.  H 133, Charlotte Airport Commission Clarifications, made several changes with respect to legislation enacted last year about control of Charlotte Douglas International Airport.  H 531, Weaverville, Buncombe & Henderson, is a local bill involving several changes with respect to municipalities in Buncombe County.  S 797, 911 Board/Back-up PSAP, would clarify the responsibilities of the 911 Board and the Department of Revenue with respect to 911 fees and would require local 911 operators to have back-up plans in place in case of system interruption.  H 573, Stormwater Management Fee Uses, would amend the uses to which these fees could be put.  S 790, Cape Hatteras EMC Tax Status, would phase in the sales tax on electricity sold by the Cape Hatteras Electric Membership Corporation.  S 853, Business Court Modernization, would designate certain cases as mandatory cases for business court and would raise the fees associated with business court.

On Wednesday, the Committee approved 10 bills.  Five of the bills - S 741, Bladen/Columbus/Franklin - Tax Cert; S 767, Rockingham Deannexation; S 871, Raleigh/Durham/Deannexation/Annexation; S 874, Spruce Pine Deannexation; and H 569, Foxfire/Satellite Annexations - are local bills and passed without much discussion.  A sixth local bill - S 876, Brevard Meals Tax - that would authorize a local prepared food tax also passed easily.  S 648, NC Commerce Protection Act of 2014, and H 618, Amend Firearm Restoration Law, were each in the Committee due to a fee provision and easily passed after discussion of  the fee provision only.  H 558, Soil and Water/Regional Jails Refunds, would allow for a refund of sales and use taxes paid by soil and water districts or regional jails.  H 1069, Unemployment Insurance Law Changes, would make several changes to the laws regarding unemployment insurance benefits.

Senate Judiciary I Committee

The Senate Judiciary I Committee met on Tuesday, June 10, and Wednesday, June 11.  On Tuesday, the Committee approved S648, NC Commerce Protection Act of 2014.  The bill was amended in committee to remove some more controversial provisions dealing with product liability lawsuits.  On Wednesday, the Committee approved two bills.  S 815, Ensuring Privacy of Student Records, would require the State Board of Education to make information regarding the student data system available to the public, create rules and plans to ensure privacy and security of individual student data in the system, and restrict the collection of certain data in the system  The bill would also require local school boards to provide notice on parental rights  and opt-out opportunities regarding student records and participation in certain surveys.  S 853, Business Court Modernization, would make a number of procedural and jurisdictional changes to the North Carolina Business Court, would authorize internal corporate reorganization by a merger utilizing a holding company without shareholder authorization, and would require that cases claiming a State statute is unconstitutional on its face be heard by a panel of three Superior Court judges rather than by proceeding through the regular process.

House Appropriations Subcommittees

All of the House Appropriations Subcommittees met on Tuesday.  Each Subcommittee reviewed the House budget proposal and allowed amendments. 

House Finance Committee

The House Finance Committee met on Wednesday, June 11 and took up S 744, Appropriations Act of 2014. The budget bill was in the Finance Committee due to several provisions dealing with taxes, fees, and debt financing.  The main event in the Committee involved an amendment that would have extended the State's income tax credit for film production, with some modifications.  The amendment ultimately failed leaving the future of the program uncertain.

In the News

Raleigh News & Observer: House gives state budget final approval, despite lingering concerns

Charlotte Observer: Charlotte Douglas airport bill clears Senate, on to House

Raleigh News & Observer: NC House GOP split as it kills attempt to extend film incentives

WRAL: House makes key changes to budget

WRAL: House bid to leave SBI under AG fails

Raleigh News & Observer: How the NC House and NC Senate budget proposals differ

WRAL: Bill targets prescription drug abuse

WRAL: McCrory signs bill changing reading requirements

Raleigh News & Observer: Senate OKs public-private partnership

Calendar

Mon, June 16, 2014

3:00 PM

Agriculture/Environment/Natural Resources (Senate)

Governor's Coal Ash Action Plan. (S729)

643 LOB

7:00 PM

Session Convenes (Senate)

Senate


Tue, June 17, 2014

8:30 AM

Appropriations on Department of Transportation (Senate)

Agenda to be determined.

1027/1128 LB

10:00 AM 

Health and Human Services (House)

544 LOB

10:00 AM

Education (House)

SBOE Rulemaking Clarification. (H1164)
Student Organizations/Rights & Recognition. (S719)

643 LOB

12:00 PM

State and Local Government (Senate)

Agenda to be determined.

1124/1224 LB

12:00 PM

Transportation (House)

Service of Hearing Order/MV Dealer Licensee. (H1097)
Insurance & Registration Required for Mopeds. (H1145)
Electronic Drivers License Amendment. (H1157)
DPS Study Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance. (H1190)

643 LOB

1:00 PM

Insurance -- CANCELLED (House)

1228/1327 LB


Wed, June 18, 2014

10:00 AM

Judiciary Subcommittee A (House)

Highway Patrol Routine Maintenance. (H1088)
AOC Civil Case Management System. (H1089)
AOC Information Technology Policy. (H1090)
Study Supervision of Magistrates. (H1091)
Mandatory Mediated Settlements/District Ct. (H1094)
City of Monroe/Supervision of Attorney. (H1218)

1228/1327 LB

10:00 AM

Rep. Insko - Press Conference

Press Room LB


Mon, June 23, 2014

3:00 PM

Joint Legislative Program Evaluation Oversight Committee

544 LOB

###

 

DISCLAIMER: Because of the generality of this update, the information provided herein may not be applicable in all situations and should not be acted upon without specific legal advice based on particular situations.

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