United States: North Carolina General Assembly Week In Review - April 24, 2015

Legislature Focuses on Taxes, Incentive Programs in Busy Week

Members of the North Carolina General Assembly had a full schedule this week, considering bills on everything from taxes and job incentives to whether the governor should be elected on a team ticket. Both chambers are slated to return to action on Monday, in preparation for the April 30th crossover deadline.

Senate Panel Debates Jobs Incentives Plan

Republican leaders in the state Senate voiced concerns this week about North Carolina's main jobs incentives package and said they plan to combine elements of competing House and Senate economic development plans into one proposal. The Senate Finance Committee meeting was the body's first public discussion of House Bill 117, NC Competes Act, an economic development bill supported by Governor Pat McCrory (R-NC) and approved by the House in early March. The House package doubles the money allotted to the Job Development Investment Grant fund from $22.5 million for the current two-year period to over $45 million, allowing the McCrory Administration to promise millions to employers before the end of the year. For their part, Senate Republicans have filed a separate bill that raises the cap while changing the program to limit incentives in urban counties. They also filed legislation that would lower corporate income tax rates and change how the taxes are calculated through a method that benefits large manufacturers. Senators are expected to move forward on the proposals next week.

Read HB 117 here

House Bill Would Let Cities/Towns Add to Sales Tax

A plan put forward by state House leaders this week would allow cities and towns to enact their own quarter-cent sales tax. House Bill 903, the County Tax Flexibility/Municipal Rev Opts, was introduced by Rep. Jason Saine (R-Lincoln) as part of an alternative effort to a Senate plan that would redistribute sales tax revenue based on population. In areas where both cities and counties take the option, the sales tax rate could rise by 0.5 cents per dollar of sales. HB 903 is but one response to the legislature's decision last session to prohibit cities and towns from collecting a business privilege license tax. The elimination of the tax has left some cities with sizable budget holes and complaints about no other help from lawmakers. If the bill were to pass, city councils could add a quarter-cent to the tax rate that is applied to sales and services within the city limits. However, only a public hearing would be required. In the Senate, Republicans want to change how sales taxes are distributed among counties, and they're considering an expanded list of services that would be subject to the tax. Legislators are expected to consider both proposals in the coming weeks.

Read HB 903 here

Senate Bill Would Shift Preservation Credits to Local Governments

The Senate State and Local Government Committee passed a bill this week that would allow local governments to make grants or loans toward the rehabilitation of historic structures. Senate Bill 472, Local Incentives for Historic Rehabilitation, now goes from the State and Local Government committee to the Finance committee. SB 472's primary sponsors are Sens. Bob Rucho (R-Mecklenburg), and Andrew Brock (R-Davie). They propose to allow cities and counties to make grants or loans toward the rehabilitation of commercial and noncommercial historic structures, regardless of whether those structures were publicly or privately owned. The bill does not however, restore the widely popular historic preservation tax credits that the legislature allowed to expire last year. In the coming weeks, the biggest questions could be whether the measure can gain traction in the House after the Senate quickly buried House Bill 152, New Historic Preservation Tax Credit, which would have restored the tax credits albeit at a lower amount.

Read SB 472 here

House O.K.'s Tighter Checks on Migrant Workers

A bill that cleared the House on Thursday would compel thousands of additional North Carolina businesses to start using a federal system to check their employees' immigration status. House Bill 318, Protect North Carolina Workers Act, would lower the threshold for using the E-Verify system from 25 employees to five. HB 318's sponsor, Rep. George Cleveland (R-Onslow) said at a press conference this week that the measure would add about 100,500 employers statewide to the immigration-check system. "People in the United States illegally cost North Carolina $1.7 billion a year," Cleveland said. "It's our responsibility to the citizens of our state to make sure that they are not subsidizing illegals." The debate over the proposal at times became heated and drew accusations of intolerance from House Democrats. The bill now heads to the Senate.

Read HB 318 here

Senate Bill Limits Teacher Political Activity

North Carolina's public school employees would be barred from campaigning for a political candidate during school hours or using school computers to campaign, under the terms of a bill passed by the Senate Education Committee this week. Senate Bill 480, Uniform Political Activity/Employees is being sponsored by Sen. Andy Wells (R-Catawba), who says that the measure simply applies the same rules now in effect for state employees to all public school employees throughout the state. Speaking to the press on Wednesday, Sen. Wells said "North Carolina now has one set of laws for state employees around political activities and 115 sets of policy rules for school board employees, this replaces that disparity with one uniform law for everyone." However, Sen. Angela Bryant (D-Nash), called one section of the law "murky," because it prohibits the use of a person's position to support or oppose a candidate without placing any limits on that prohibition. Legislative staff said teachers a teacher's right to campaign on their own time wouldn't be affected. Meanwhile, Republican Sen. Jerry Tillman (R-Randolph), a former school administrator, added that most superintendents and principals could be considered to be on the job 24 hours a day, so restricting their ability to engage in political activity all the time would infringe on their First Amendment rights.

Read SB 480 here

House Rejects Gubernatorial 'Team Ticket' Idea

House members rejected a proposal on Wednesday to put an initiative on the ballot that would have amended the North Carolina Constitution to allow candidates for governor and lieutenant governor to run as a ticket. House Bill 344, Gubernatorial Team Ticket, would have put a referendum on the ballot statewide in 2018 to require voters to select a "team" as governor and lieutenant governor, starting in the November 2020 general election. The measure would mirror the way presidents and vice presidents of the United States are currently elected. Under HB 344, voters would still be allowed to cast ballots in party primaries for lieutenant governor candidates, with the winner being paired with the victor of the gubernatorial primary. The bill's sponsor, Rep. Bert Jones (R-Rockingham), said out of the 43 states that have lieutenant governors, 25 of them run on team tickets with their state's gubernatorial nominees. In North Carolina, the positions were held by opposing parties in the early 1970s and the mid-to late 1980s, something that Rep. Gary Pendleton (R-Wake), said led to "one big cat fight." The final vote on HB 344 was 60-58, falling short of the two-thirds majority required under law to advance a proposal amending the constitution.

Read HB 344 here

Religious Freedom Bill Dead for the Session

Facing opposition from business leaders and fellow Republicans across North Carolina, House Speaker Tim Moore (R-Kings Mountain) announced this week that the House will not take up controversial "religious freedom" legislation, effectively killing it for this rest of the session. Speaking to reporters on Thursday, Speaker Moore said that House Bill 348, the NC Religious Freedom Act, was not going to move. "This bill in its current format, at the current time, is not the proper path to go for the citizens of North Carolina," Moore said. The Speaker's decision followed growing concern throughout the state about the proposal, which is similar to those that sparked widespread public backlash this year in Indiana and Arkansas, making national headlines. The measure had fomented opposition from businesses, including IBM and also had drawn the ire of Republican Gov. Pat McCrory, who expressed reservations at the idea of the bill moving forward. Asked how important such opposition was to his decision, Moore, who is in his first term as speaker, said "a good bit." HB 348 has an identical version in the Senate, SB 550, that hasn't had a hearing yet.

Read HB 348 here

The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought about your specific circumstances.

To print this article, all you need is to be registered on Mondaq.com.

Click to Login as an existing user or Register so you can print this article.

Authors
Similar Articles
Relevancy Powered by MondaqAI
 
In association with
Related Topics
 
Similar Articles
Relevancy Powered by MondaqAI
Related Articles
 
Related Video
Up-coming Events Search
Tools
Print
Font Size:
Translation
Channels
Mondaq on Twitter
 
Register for Access and our Free Biweekly Alert for
This service is completely free. Access 250,000 archived articles from 100+ countries and get a personalised email twice a week covering developments (and yes, our lawyers like to think you’ve read our Disclaimer).
 
Email Address
Company Name
Password
Confirm Password
Position
Mondaq Topics -- Select your Interests
 Accounting
 Anti-trust
 Commercial
 Compliance
 Consumer
 Criminal
 Employment
 Energy
 Environment
 Family
 Finance
 Government
 Healthcare
 Immigration
 Insolvency
 Insurance
 International
 IP
 Law Performance
 Law Practice
 Litigation
 Media & IT
 Privacy
 Real Estate
 Strategy
 Tax
 Technology
 Transport
 Wealth Mgt
Regions
Africa
Asia
Asia Pacific
Australasia
Canada
Caribbean
Europe
European Union
Latin America
Middle East
U.K.
United States
Worldwide Updates
Registration (you must scroll down to set your data preferences)

Mondaq Ltd requires you to register and provide information that personally identifies you, including your content preferences, for three primary purposes (full details of Mondaq’s use of your personal data can be found in our Privacy and Cookies Notice):

  • To allow you to personalize the Mondaq websites you are visiting to show content ("Content") relevant to your interests.
  • To enable features such as password reminder, news alerts, email a colleague, and linking from Mondaq (and its affiliate sites) to your website.
  • To produce demographic feedback for our content providers ("Contributors") who contribute Content for free for your use.

Mondaq hopes that our registered users will support us in maintaining our free to view business model by consenting to our use of your personal data as described below.

Mondaq has a "free to view" business model. Our services are paid for by Contributors in exchange for Mondaq providing them with access to information about who accesses their content. Once personal data is transferred to our Contributors they become a data controller of this personal data. They use it to measure the response that their articles are receiving, as a form of market research. They may also use it to provide Mondaq users with information about their products and services.

Details of each Contributor to which your personal data will be transferred is clearly stated within the Content that you access. For full details of how this Contributor will use your personal data, you should review the Contributor’s own Privacy Notice.

Please indicate your preference below:

Yes, I am happy to support Mondaq in maintaining its free to view business model by agreeing to allow Mondaq to share my personal data with Contributors whose Content I access
No, I do not want Mondaq to share my personal data with Contributors

Also please let us know whether you are happy to receive communications promoting products and services offered by Mondaq:

Yes, I am happy to received promotional communications from Mondaq
No, please do not send me promotional communications from Mondaq
Terms & Conditions

Mondaq.com (the Website) is owned and managed by Mondaq Ltd (Mondaq). Mondaq grants you a non-exclusive, revocable licence to access the Website and associated services, such as the Mondaq News Alerts (Services), subject to and in consideration of your compliance with the following terms and conditions of use (Terms). Your use of the Website and/or Services constitutes your agreement to the Terms. Mondaq may terminate your use of the Website and Services if you are in breach of these Terms or if Mondaq decides to terminate the licence granted hereunder for any reason whatsoever.

Use of www.mondaq.com

To Use Mondaq.com you must be: eighteen (18) years old or over; legally capable of entering into binding contracts; and not in any way prohibited by the applicable law to enter into these Terms in the jurisdiction which you are currently located.

You may use the Website as an unregistered user, however, you are required to register as a user if you wish to read the full text of the Content or to receive the Services.

You may not modify, publish, transmit, transfer or sell, reproduce, create derivative works from, distribute, perform, link, display, or in any way exploit any of the Content, in whole or in part, except as expressly permitted in these Terms or with the prior written consent of Mondaq. You may not use electronic or other means to extract details or information from the Content. Nor shall you extract information about users or Contributors in order to offer them any services or products.

In your use of the Website and/or Services you shall: comply with all applicable laws, regulations, directives and legislations which apply to your Use of the Website and/or Services in whatever country you are physically located including without limitation any and all consumer law, export control laws and regulations; provide to us true, correct and accurate information and promptly inform us in the event that any information that you have provided to us changes or becomes inaccurate; notify Mondaq immediately of any circumstances where you have reason to believe that any Intellectual Property Rights or any other rights of any third party may have been infringed; co-operate with reasonable security or other checks or requests for information made by Mondaq from time to time; and at all times be fully liable for the breach of any of these Terms by a third party using your login details to access the Website and/or Services

however, you shall not: do anything likely to impair, interfere with or damage or cause harm or distress to any persons, or the network; do anything that will infringe any Intellectual Property Rights or other rights of Mondaq or any third party; or use the Website, Services and/or Content otherwise than in accordance with these Terms; use any trade marks or service marks of Mondaq or the Contributors, or do anything which may be seen to take unfair advantage of the reputation and goodwill of Mondaq or the Contributors, or the Website, Services and/or Content.

Mondaq reserves the right, in its sole discretion, to take any action that it deems necessary and appropriate in the event it considers that there is a breach or threatened breach of the Terms.

Mondaq’s Rights and Obligations

Unless otherwise expressly set out to the contrary, nothing in these Terms shall serve to transfer from Mondaq to you, any Intellectual Property Rights owned by and/or licensed to Mondaq and all rights, title and interest in and to such Intellectual Property Rights will remain exclusively with Mondaq and/or its licensors.

Mondaq shall use its reasonable endeavours to make the Website and Services available to you at all times, but we cannot guarantee an uninterrupted and fault free service.

Mondaq reserves the right to make changes to the services and/or the Website or part thereof, from time to time, and we may add, remove, modify and/or vary any elements of features and functionalities of the Website or the services.

Mondaq also reserves the right from time to time to monitor your Use of the Website and/or services.

Disclaimer

The Content is general information only. It is not intended to constitute legal advice or seek to be the complete and comprehensive statement of the law, nor is it intended to address your specific requirements or provide advice on which reliance should be placed. Mondaq and/or its Contributors and other suppliers make no representations about the suitability of the information contained in the Content for any purpose. All Content provided "as is" without warranty of any kind. Mondaq and/or its Contributors and other suppliers hereby exclude and disclaim all representations, warranties or guarantees with regard to the Content, including all implied warranties and conditions of merchantability, fitness for a particular purpose, title and non-infringement. To the maximum extent permitted by law, Mondaq expressly excludes all representations, warranties, obligations, and liabilities arising out of or in connection with all Content. In no event shall Mondaq and/or its respective suppliers be liable for any special, indirect or consequential damages or any damages whatsoever resulting from loss of use, data or profits, whether in an action of contract, negligence or other tortious action, arising out of or in connection with the use of the Content or performance of Mondaq’s Services.

General

Mondaq may alter or amend these Terms by amending them on the Website. By continuing to Use the Services and/or the Website after such amendment, you will be deemed to have accepted any amendment to these Terms.

These Terms shall be governed by and construed in accordance with the laws of England and Wales and you irrevocably submit to the exclusive jurisdiction of the courts of England and Wales to settle any dispute which may arise out of or in connection with these Terms. If you live outside the United Kingdom, English law shall apply only to the extent that English law shall not deprive you of any legal protection accorded in accordance with the law of the place where you are habitually resident ("Local Law"). In the event English law deprives you of any legal protection which is accorded to you under Local Law, then these terms shall be governed by Local Law and any dispute or claim arising out of or in connection with these Terms shall be subject to the non-exclusive jurisdiction of the courts where you are habitually resident.

You may print and keep a copy of these Terms, which form the entire agreement between you and Mondaq and supersede any other communications or advertising in respect of the Service and/or the Website.

No delay in exercising or non-exercise by you and/or Mondaq of any of its rights under or in connection with these Terms shall operate as a waiver or release of each of your or Mondaq’s right. Rather, any such waiver or release must be specifically granted in writing signed by the party granting it.

If any part of these Terms is held unenforceable, that part shall be enforced to the maximum extent permissible so as to give effect to the intent of the parties, and the Terms shall continue in full force and effect.

Mondaq shall not incur any liability to you on account of any loss or damage resulting from any delay or failure to perform all or any part of these Terms if such delay or failure is caused, in whole or in part, by events, occurrences, or causes beyond the control of Mondaq. Such events, occurrences or causes will include, without limitation, acts of God, strikes, lockouts, server and network failure, riots, acts of war, earthquakes, fire and explosions.

By clicking Register you state you have read and agree to our Terms and Conditions