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 Legislative Advocacy 

Welcome to the Legislative Advocacy home page

Thank you for visiting the Legislative Advocacy home page of the North Carolina League of Municipalities. Here you will find all the latest updates on pending legislation, issues of importance to municipalities, regulatory affairs, League events and more.

The Legislative Advocacy section of the website is also where you can sign up for League LINC, the League’s grassroots initiative. For more on League LINC, click on Get Involved on the left-hand side of this page, or click here to set up your League LINC account.

Thank you for your interest in the League’s legislative activity, and check back frequently for more updates.

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July 22 LINC'ed IN Now Available

Stay cool. Read this week's LINC'ed IN. Learn about the Division of Water Infrastructure's fall funding round and related application training for water and wastewater funding programs -- including a portion of the Connect NC bond. Get details on the NBA's announcement concerning HB2. See what municipalities are doing to expand access to superfast Internet services. And check out the latest episode of Municipal Equation, the League's podcast about local government and great communities. All that and more in this week's LINC'ed IN.

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Posted on July 22, 2016 by Government Affairs Team

July 15 LINC'ed IN Now Available

Time for a change. Read this week's LINC'ed IN. With the legislative session finished, we're transitioning back to regular LINC'ed IN bulletins every Friday, this one giving you a rundown of municipal government-related bills that Gov. Pat McCrory signed this week and those that are still pending on his desk. We also look at largescale changes to state stormwater rules and check in on the National League of Cities' latest report on mayors' priorities. And have you heard about the new funding program that will pay for electronic vehicle charging stations in cities and towns? All that and more in this week's LINC'ed IN.

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Posted on July 15, 2016 by Government Affairs Team

July 8 LeagueLINC Bulletin Now Available

Don't let the heat defeat you. Cool down with this week's LeagueLINC Bulletin. Get a recap of what happened during the final laps of the 2016 legislation session and the outcomes of bills of interest to municipalities. Check out the future of North Carolina ports activity with the giant post-Panamax vessel that just visited the Port of Wilmington. See why the world is looking to Asheville for flood-risk solutions. And catch up with Municipal Equation, the League's podcast on municipal issues and great communities. All that and more in this week's LeagueLINC Bulletin.

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Posted on July 08, 2016 by Government Affairs Team

News & Notes: Legislature Adjourns

The North Carolina General Assembly adjourned its 2016 short session late Friday after roughly 10 weeks of lawmaking, mostly notably with a $22.3 billion budget that contained numerous wins for municipalities (as covered in Friday afternoon's Legislative Bulletin). The chambers gaveled out without much new material for cities and towns in the final hours, leaving behind proposals like House Bill 100 Local Government Immigration Compliance, which would have blocked local governments from school and Powell Bill funding if they're found to have so-called "sanctuary" policies for immigrants in the country illegally. The bill died in the House Rules Committee. Meanwhile, a great deal of media attention fell on changes to House Bill 2, with late-Friday legislating that restored the right to sue in state court for discrimination and, separately, set aside $500,000 for HB2's legal defense.
 
Here's what happened with other municipal-interest proposals that circulated during the session finale:
 
  • SB 326 Local Gov'ts/Bldgs/Structures/Inspections: Passed - Places restrictions on the ways cities run rental registration programs. Cities around the state have used these programs successfully to force absentee landlords to address repeated housing violations on their properties, improving the quality of available housing and protecting the public safety of neighboring tenants and property owners. (Click here to read the League's previous coverage of the bill.)
  • SB 667 Elections Omnibus Revisions: Passed - A League-opposed provision in this bill sets sight on even-numbered-year municipal elections by 2020. Section 5 directs the Joint Legislative Elections Oversight Committee to study implementation options and recommend any related legislation.
  • SB 897 Asheville City Council Districts: Did not pass - The House voted down this Senate proposal to change how Asheville City Council members are elected, with individual legislators arguing that it shouldn’t be the General Assembly’s call. Officials with the city had argued that any such changes in the form of local elections should be decided locally.
  • Regulatory Reform Package: Did not pass - The chambers left without agreement on a large regulatory reform package. Individual reg reform bills that would have impacted cities and towns went to negotiating tables without resolution, including SB 303 Regulatory Reform Act of 2016 and HB 593 Amend Environmental and Other Laws. HB 763 Military Operations Protection Act of 2016 also sat incomplete by the time lawmakers left town.  
  • HB 483 Land-Use Regulatory Changes: Passed - After weeks of intense pressure and negotiations by municipal officials and land-use law practitioners across the state, legislators ultimately set most of HB 483 to the side. Instead, just hours before adjourning for the year, they signed off on a proposal that granted statutory vested rights for multi-phase developments for a period of seven years. The vested rights period would begin upon site plan approval for the initial phase of the multi-phase development, a term defined in the bill. The governor must now act on the bill.
The progress with HB 483 was emblematic of the tremendous engagement that North Carolina municipalities have with their lawmakers and the processes that play out on Jones Street. League members demonstrated great attention to this and myriad other issues that materialized this session. The League would like to thank everyone who helped to build relationships, voice their concerns and work in team fashion to benefit municipalities on the whole.
 
Friday night's final gavel concluded what was, in the end, a successful session for cities and towns and a strong foundation for good work in sessions to come.

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Posted on July 05, 2016 by Government Affairs Team

July 1 LeagueLINC Bulletin Now Available

Sad the legislative session is ending? Read this week's LeagueLINC Bulletin and get your fill of happenings still in progress at the General Assembly. We've got a budget headed to the governor for signing, and it does good things for municipal governments. We've covered a number of bills dealing with local policy. We give you the need-to-know on a state measure that would usurp local authority over local elections. And we walk you through the body-cam legislation on its way to the governor. All that and more in this week's LeagueLINC Bulletin.

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Posted on July 01, 2016 by Government Affairs Team

June 24 LeagueLINC Bulletin Now Available

Are we on the legislative homestretch? Read this week's LeagueLINC Bulletin to find out. Get the scoop on what's happening on Jones Street in Raleigh and learn about the many proposals going through the process that can impact cities and towns. Read up on body-worn camera legislation and a measure the League opposes regarding land use. On the lighter side, have you checked out our new podcast yet? Get all that and more in this week's LeagueLINC Bulletin.

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Posted on June 24, 2016 by Government Affairs Team

Up Front, a message from the President

Last week, the League’s Risk Management Services held its fourth annual police driver training session in Charlotte, with representatives of 20 police departments participating in the two-day program intended to reduce police motor vehicle accidents. With summer here, and the program’s catch-phrase being “Slower is Faster,” you might think the timing coincides with period when things are slowing down some at the League.  Except that’s not the case.

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Posted on June 22, 2016 by Scott Mooneyham

June 17 LeagueLINC Bulletin Now Available

Take action. Read this week's LeagueLINC Bulletin. Learn how you can voice opposition to a sweeping land-use reform bill that, among other things, would incentivize litigation at local taxpayer expense. Meanwhile, see how the League worked with lawmakers to improve a set of proposed regulatory reforms related to rezoning, subdivision changes and land-use violations. Follow what's happening with a proposed utility permit fee prohibition and potential changes in public records law. All that and much, much more in this week's LeagueLINC Bulletin.

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Posted on June 17, 2016 by Government Affairs Team

ACTION ALERT: Contact Your Legislators Regarding HB 483 Land-Use Regulatory Changes

Earlier this week, the Senate unveiled its version of HB 483 Land-Use Regulatory Changes, a bill that makes wide-ranging changes to land-use regulatory statutes. Among other changes, the bill would incentivize litigation at local taxpayer expense, weaken protections for neighboring property owners of new developments, and undermine infrastructure performance guarantees that protect new property owners and local taxpayers.

The League opposes this bill in its current form and urges you to contact your legislators to let them know of the potential harm created by HB 483.

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Posted on June 15, 2016 by Scott Mooneyham

June 10 LeagueLINC Bulletin Now Available

What was the highlight of your Town Hall Day? Read this week's LeagueLINC Bulletin for coverage of the League's biggest annual lobbying event and more. You'll find a video recapping Town Hall Day's events and a written rundown of all that happened -- including the engagement with top state officials like Gov. Pat McCrory and House Speaker Tim Moore. You can also read up on the House's regulatory reform proposal and its updated body camera proposal. It's all in this week's LeagueLINC Bulletin.

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Posted on June 10, 2016 by Government Affairs Team

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