NCDP Clips for Friday, March 27th, 2015

NCDP Clips for Friday, March 27th, 2015

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LEGISLATURE 2015

Senate unveils more NC tax changes, House backs targeted break (AP) — Republican legislators who cut North Carolina income taxes in part by eliminating special treatment for targeted groups are going further, while others feel pressure to change course and restore some breaks.

House, Senate reach gas tax deal (WRAL-TV) — North Carolina’s gas tax would drop to 36 cents per gallon on April 1 and to 34 cents per gallon in 2016. In lawmakers don’t create a new formula by the end of next year, the tax would begin to climb again in 2017 based on the state’s population growth and changes in overall consumer prices.

NC Senate bill would sell Dorothea Dix site to highest bidder (Charlotte Observer) — A bill filed late Thursday by three Republican NC senators would put the 308-acre Dorothea Dix property up for bid – likely revoking a deal reached between Raleigh leaders and Gov. Pat McCrory to create a park.

Deadline Brings Flurry of Proposed Health Care Legislation (N.C. Health News) — The state Senate had a deadline Thursday for certain bills. By the time it was all done, 194 bills had been filed on Thursday alone. At least 52 of the 351 bills filed just this past week have health care implications.

New abortion rules sought in bill by NC Senate Republicans (Raleigh News & Observer) — A North Carolina Senate bill would impose new restrictions on abortions, including requiring clinics have written agreements with hospitals for emergencies. That provision has put clinics out of business in some states.

NC House vote gives legal status to nonexistent ‘autocycle’ (Raleigh News & Observer) — A bill to define a new sort of three-wheeled vehicle called an autocycle zoomed through the House Thursday without dissent – and without any mention that nobody has manufactured an autocycle and nobody can buy one.

POLICIES & POLITICS

Since recession, tax revenues lags in N.C. and 29 other states (PEW) — Nationally, total state tax revenue recovered in mid-2013 from its plunge during the Great Recession. But the state-by-state picture is far more mixed. Adjusted for inflation, tax receipts in 30 states, including North Carolina, had not fully rebounded by the third quarter of 2014. North Carolina’s revenues remain 9.5 percent behind the pre-recession pace.

N.C. Rep. Price: We need diplomacy with Iran (Raleigh News & Observer) — U.S. Rep. David Price, D-N.C. says he’s been working harder on building support for the negotiations with Iran than on any other issue in recent weeks.

SCHOOLS & UNIVERSITIES

Tar Heel players: $200 final gift was ‘classic Dean Smith’ (Charlotte Observer) — Every varsity basketball letterman during Dean Smith’s coaching reign at UNC from 1961-97 is getting a letter with a check in it. From Michael Jordan to Phil Ford to James Worthy to Richard Vinroot, they all will receive the same $200.
Bill would limit political activity by school employees (Greensboro News & Record) — Senate Bill 480 is co-sponsored by Sen. Trudy Wade, a Guilford County Republican.

THE SPILL

Duke Energy docks CEO’s pay $600,000 for coal ash spill (Charlotte Business Journal) — Duke Energy CEO Lynn Good’s salary, stock, options and other compensation in 2014 totaled $8.3 million. But it would have been more than $8.9 million without the spill on the Dan River. Her pay equaled $34,584 a day. The mean annual wage for North Carolina public elementary school teachers is $42,440.
Duke Energy makes $1 million in water-quality grants (Charlotte Observer) — Duke Energy has made $1 million in grants to 15 organizations in the Carolinas and Virginia from a special water-quality fund created last year. Duke set up the $10 million, multi-year Water Resources Fund months after its February 2014 coal ash spill into the Dan River. The city of Danville, downstream of the spill, got $100,000 for a riverwalk, Duke said Thursday.

County contemplates next steps in coal ash agreement (Sanford Herald) — With an agreement approved between Lee County and Duke Energy for coal ash storage, local officials on Thursday considered the questions of how the funds would be used and what would come next.

EDITORIALS
High court ruling suggests NC voting maps don’t comply (Raleigh News & Observer) — North Carolina Republicans may face a setback if an Alabama case in the U.S. Supreme Court spoils the GOP party on redistricting.

Driver’s ed change raises concerns (Wilson Times) — State funding for driver’s education is set to run out on June 30, creating an expensive proposition for parents and local school districts.