NCDP Clips for Thursday October 1st, 2015
N.C. primaries officially on March 15 with signing (AP) — Gov. Pat McCrory on Wednesday signed into law a move for all primaries next year to March 15, including the political parties’ presidential contests. A $2 billion bond referendum also is expected on statewide ballots that day.
McCrory signs incentives bill in Stokesdale (Greensboro News & Record) — The plan was a hard-won prize for McCrory, who began pushing the legislation at the beginning of the session months ago.
McCrory signs JDIG bill (Triangle Business Journal) — Triangle economic development officials are praising Gov. Pat McCrory for signing legislation to replenish the state’s taxpayer-funded incentives program. The new law will extend the Jobs Development Investment Grant program through 2018. It also raises the monetary value of JDIG grants the state can give each year from $15 million to $20 million for most projects. However, the cap goes up to $35 million when a “high-yield” project like an automobile manufacturing plant is involved.
McCrory signs law to extend keystone incentives (Charlotte Business Journal) — The state’s economic developers are once again armed with an important incentive to attract business and industry. Gov. Pat McCrory this morning signed the N.C. Competes bill into law during a Manufacturing Week celebration at Culp Inc., which makes mattress and upholstery fabrics.
McCrory signs job recruitment bill at textile plant (AP) — A sleep-deprived Gov. Pat McCrory has signed legislation that he says will keep North Carolina competitive when it comes to bringing jobs to the state. Only hours after the General Assembly adjourned, McCrory signed the measure Wednesday at Culp, Inc., a textile plant in the town of Stokesdale in Guilford County.
NC Data Centers Act extends tax benefits to multi-tenant facilities (WRAL-TV) — The new North Carolina Data Centers Act, signed into law Wednesday morning extends the tax benefits available to single owners such as Google, Apple or Amazon to multi-tenant facilities where combined investment reaches $75 million.
Newly signed bill could mean millions for N.C. data centers (Triangle Business Journal) — The same tax exemptions that helped inspire Facebook, Amazon and Google to bring data centers to North Carolina could soon benefit multi-tenant data center players – companies such as Sentinel Data Centers, which is currently building a 420,000-square-foot facility in Durham. Gov. Pat McCrory signed a bill into law Wednesday, called the North Carolina Data Center Infrastructure Act, which offers property and utility sales tax exemptions to data center providers and their occupants that have collectively invested at least $75 million in private funds in a given facility.
Legislature leaves hot topics on McCrory’s desk (Raleigh News & Observer) — The lobbying won’t end with the legislature’s early morning adjournment Wednesday: Gov. Pat McCrory now has more than 30 bills on his desk, and advocacy groups hope he’ll veto controversial proposals involving abortion, immigration and elections.
N.C. lawmakers end protracted session after 4 a.m. (AP) — Fitting to this year’s theme of protraction and delays, the North Carolina General Assembly session wrapped up its 8½-month session in the middle of the night Wednesday, only after lawmakers waited nearly four hours for one final bill.
Wednesday Wrap: And that’s an (actual) wrap (WRL-TV) — After a long day on Tuesday, the North Carolina General Assembly finally ended its session by pushing through several bills in the final 48 hours.
End-of-Session Health Care Wrap-up (N.C. Health News) — This year, the big health care story at the General Assembly was the decision to overhaul North Carolina’s Medicaid program, and that heavy legislative lift was enough to sideline many lighter health care bills. But a number of bills did find their way onto the floors of the House and Senate in the waning days of the 2015 legislative session, where they garnered enough votes to head to the desk of Gov. Pat McCrory.
What they did – and didn’t do – at the legislature in 2015 (Raleigh News & Observer) — The legislature ended the long session having enacted changes to the tax code, education, and health. Legislators had the option do to more. Here’s what was accomplished this session and what was left to gather dust. Any bill that passed at least one chamber in the long session is eligible to become law next year.
Regulatory Reform Bill Awaits Governor’s Signature (N.C. Health News) — The state House of Representatives passed legislation late Tuesday night that would rewrite several environmental rules, a move that now sends the bill to Gov. Pat McCrory for a signature. House Bill 765 touches on a number of regulatory issues throughout the state, including occupational licensing boards and workers’ compensation. But a large portion of the bill addresses environmental rules. The legislation, if signed by McCrory, will among other things:
Groups Urge Veto of Environmental Bill (Coastal Review) – Environmental groups are calling on Gov. Pat McCrory to veto a sweeping deregulation bill state lawmakers passed early Wednesday before adjourning for the year.
Food stamps change approved, local government rules die (Asheville Citizen-Times) — Legislators sent Gov. Pat McCrory a bill to make it harder for able-bodied adults without children to get food stamps but another to restrict local government powers did not make the cut before the state General Assembly adjourned early Wednesday. The food bill would, if McCrory signs it, require that recipients of food assistance work or volunteer at least 20 hours a week or be in a job training program to get benefits.
Last-Minute Legislation Jeopardizes Food Stamps for Thousands (Public News Service) — After taking months to iron out a state budget, North Carolina lawmakers are now pushing bills that could have as great an impact on the state’s citizens as the budget. One of those bills is House Bill 318, which includes a provision that could impact the eligibility of Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) benefits for thousands of residents.
POLICY & POLITICS
Low job approval doesn’t keep McCrory from being competitive (Public Policy Polling) — Republican Gov. Pat McCrory continues to struggle on job approval – with 47 percent of N.C. voters disapproving of the job he does while only 35 percent approve. Still, McCrory continues to stay close to his strongest Democratic challenger, Atty. Gen. Roy Cooper, in a match-up in the race for governor. McCrory’s at 44% to 41% for Cooper, within the Public Policy Polling’s margin of error.
Local legislators encourage fed probe into DHHS contracts (Winston-Salem Journal) — Local legislators are expressing disappointment, but not surprise, that U.S. attorneys have issued subpoenas for employment and outsourcing contracts for former health Secretary Aldona Wos and the N.C. Department of Health and Human Services. They also said they support prosecution if warranted.
Clearing the air on North Carolina’s pollution progress (Raleigh News & Observer column) — Julie Mayfield: An invitation to celebrate North Carolina’s clean air from Department of Environmental Quality Secretary Donald van der Vaart was surprising given that it came from a secretary (and a department and an administration) that has done so much to thwart efforts to continue our progress on air quality.
UNC search still dark (Greensboro News & Record) — In a moment of inspiration Monday, the state House of Representatives approved an amendment that would bring light to a hidden process — the selection of the president of the University of North Carolina. The candle of openness burned but briefly.
Defense bill raises hopes that 440th can be saved (Fayetteville Observer) — Does Fort Bragg’s 440th Airlift Wing have as many lives as a cat? Maybe more?
Outrageous move to foster runaway salaries for UNC administrators (Raleigh News & Observer column) — Runaway salaries for top university administrators and presidents are as problematic as lavish compensation for CEOs
Solar energy and tax credits (Wilson Times) — Politicians in North Carolina, as do politicians everywhere, talk about the importance of creating and retaining jobs. Evidently a majority of North Carolina legislators don’t mean it.
Local boards should handle local issues (Rocky Mount Telegram) — As Americans, we uphold democratic ideals with great fervor, but we have representative government for good reason.