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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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We Want YOU!! Help us set future League policy...

It's that time of the year again - the North Carolina League of Municipalities is accepting applications for all four of our policy committees, and we want YOU to join us! The policy committees receive the latest legislative updates, hear specialized presentations from political leaders, and most importantly guide the League's policy development process. So, whether you're an expert in any of the municipal issues below, or you just want to learn more about the topics and enjoy the legislative process, we have a committee that is perfect for you! All committees are open to municipal elected officials and staff, with terms lasting two years.

The best news of all -- it's easy to apply! Just fill out this form no later than October 31, 2014. You can email it to LeagueLINC@nclm.org, fax it to (919) 301-1012, or best of all, drop it off in-person at the League's CityVision 2014 annual conference!

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Posted on October 01, 2014 by Cara Bridges

September 26 LINC'ed IN Now Available

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Posted on September 26, 2014 by Scott Mooneyham

September 19 LINC'ed IN Now Available

Are you ready to take a drive with us? This week's LINC'ed IN opens to door to Governor Pat McCrory's latest transportation plan. And just when you thought everything about the legislative session was over, well, it is. The governor signed a couple of remaining bills on his desk. He also announced that he would not be calling legislators back for a special session this year. Read about these developments and more in this week's LINC'ed IN.

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Posted on September 19, 2014 by Scott Mooneyham

September 12 LINC'ed IN Now Available

With fall right around the corner, it's a busy time for the League and municipalities around the state. Read this week's LINC'ed IN to learn all about the goings-on here and there. They include the League's continuing policy development process. Meanwhile, Wilson's push to seek preemption of a state broadband law has gained national attention. In Asheville, municipal officials celebrated a huge federal transportation grant. Read about it all in this week's LINC'ed IN.
 

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Posted on September 15, 2014 by Scott Mooneyham

September 5 LINC'ed IN Now Available

With the Legislature having adjourned, LINC'ed IN, our weekly publication during the interim period, returns this week. In this week's LINC'ed IN, learn how the League would like to see legislators come back to Raleigh to take up a limited number of economic development matters. Also read about how two different cities are discussing law enforcement-related policies. That and more news is here in this week's LINC'ed IN.

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Posted on September 05, 2014 by Scott Mooneyham

League Calls for Special Legislative Session

After hearing concerns expressed by cities and towns from across the state, the League this morning delivered a letter to Governor Pat McCrory calling for a special legislative session to consider crucial funding for economic development programs and the extension of film and historic preservation tax credits. As Wilmington Mayor Bill Saffo so succinctly put it, "The elimination of key economic development programs and incentives puts the livelihood and economic competitiveness of our state in great peril." 
 
The need for legislative action is real. Legislators had the opportunity to approve stand-alone jobs recruiting legislation, as well as a stand-alone film and historic preservation tax credit bill. Instead, these proposals became entangled in other legislation, and legislators left Raleigh without approving programs critical to bringing in new jobs and maintaining existing jobs.
 
In the letter urging Governor McCrory to convene a special legislative session, the League asked that he specifically limit the session -- as the State Constitution allows him to do -- to Commerce Department-related jobs recruiting programs and film and historic preservation tax credits. The letter to McCrory can be seen here; a separate letter from Mayor Saffo asking all North Carolinians to join in the call for a special session to address these issues can be viewed here.
 
North Carolina and its municipalities, which are so vital to the state's economic growth, cannot afford a timeout when it comes to job recruiting and job creation. The state faces the real possibility that Commerce Department programs critical to inducing new businesses to come here will run out of money, even as large employers weigh North Carolina communities as potential business sites against communities in other states.  Many cities and towns also face the possibility of seeing historic rehabilitation projects, with the potential to create hundreds or even thousands of jobs in total, falling apart without historic preservation tax credits. And the loss of film tax credits will mean the loss of film and TV production jobs.
 
Please contact Governor McCrory's office and your Legislators to ask them to support a special legislative session to take up these measures so essential to economic development and job creation. 

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Posted on September 04, 2014 by Scott Mooneyham

NCLM 2014 End of Session Bulletin

Please find linked below the League's 2014 End of Session Bulletin, featuring an in-depth look at the accomplishments of cities and towns during the past legislative session, as well as the legislation and issues affecting them. This document includes summaries of dozens of bills that the League lobbied during the session. Click the link below to access all 50 pages of the End of Session Bulletin.

2014 END OF SESSION BULLETIN

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Posted on September 04, 2014 by Government Affairs Team

The Week After Adjournment

With the Legislature finally adjourned, political circles in Raleigh were relatively quiet this week. The LeagueLINC Bulletin, published when legislators are in session, will resume when lawmakers return to Raleigh, which may be next year or may be sooner (see below). LINC'ed IN, published when the General Assembly is out of session, will resume next week. Meanwhile, look for the League's End of Session Bulletin report -- with a comprehensive review of legislation tracked by the League and municipalities' accomplishments over the course of the session -- early next week.
 
Even if the Legislative Building was mostly deserted this week, a few happenings regarding the League, member cities and towns, and state politics are worth noting. One was the extensive article that the influential NC Insider state government news service published this week taking stock of city gains at the Legislature this year. The article relied extensively on a League news release sent out at the end of the session, as well as an interview with League Advocacy Communications Strategist Scott Mooneyham.
 
The piece began by listing some of the accomplishments:
"Pension-spiking prevention. Added Powell Bill money. Repealing E-Verify requirements on small local government purchases. They're three on a bulleted list of reasons why the N.C. League of Municipalities thought this year's legislative session was generally one of accomplishment for cities and towns across North Carolina, despite notable challenges. 'Even with the privilege license tax issue hanging out there, we still feel like we are in a much better position with the overwhelming majority of legislators than we were a couple of years ago,' said Scott Mooneyham, spokesman for NCLM."
 
The piece did not shy away from the challenges and misses for municipalities, including discussions about the pending privilege license tax repeal and the failure of legislators to extend film and historic preservation tax credits. Wilmington Mayor Bill Saffo was among those quoted about the disappointment at seeing legislators balk when it came to extending the tax credits and in approving more business recruiting incentives, which could prove crucial for projects considering southeastern North Carolina. (The full Insider article can be viewed here, but because it is a subscription-based publication, access may be limited.)
 
Mayor Saffo also is among those who are now urging  Governor Pat McCrory to hold a special legislative session to take up incentives and tax credit-related legislation. Reps. Ted Davis and Suzi Hamilton this week joined in the effort to get Governor McCrory to act, issuing a joint statement to that effect. The governor's office has remained noncommittal on the issue, even as Commerce Secretary Sharon Decker has been discussing the need for more business recruiting dollars. See media coverage about a potential special session here and here.
 
Elsewhere, the League's Municipal Advocacy Goals process for 2015 continued this week with meetings in Raleigh and Greensboro of Legislative Action Committees ... The League submitted formal comments to the Federal Communications Commission regarding Wilson's petition for federal pre-emption related to government-owned broadband laws ... Raleigh Mayor Nancy McFarland has indicated that the City of Raleigh and state are close to reaching a deal on the acquisition of the Dorothea Dix property ... Former House Speaker Harold Brubaker was named the state's most influential lobbyist in a biennial survey conducted by the N.C. Center for Public Policy Research; his former aide from two decades ago, Dana Simpson, was ranked second, while former Raleigh Mayor Tom Fetzer was third ... Former Sen. Thom Goolsby, who recently resigned his seat, announced that he would begin lobbying ... White House Director of Intergovernmental Affairs David Agnew announced he was leaving the position; Agnew was credited by the National League of Cities for ensuring that "local voices were heard by the Administration."
       
   

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Posted on August 29, 2014 by Scott Mooneyham

August 22 LeagueLINC Bulletin Now Available

They have gone home. Really, this time. Legislators finally adjourned the 2014 session of the General Assembly, and you can read all about the final maneuvering in the final hours in this week's LeagueLINC Bulletin. Before leaving, a controversial local sales tax measure failed, while a deal to clean up coal ash finally came together. Who said state lawmakers couldn't get their work done before the start of the fiscal ye ... uh ... before  the middle of summ ... uh ... before the start of the school year? No need to worry about any deadlines here. Read all about the goings-on in Raleigh in this week's LeagueLINC Bulletin.   

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Posted on August 22, 2014 by Scott Mooneyham

Municipalities See Significant Achievements in 2014 Legislative Session

(RALEIGH)  -- The North Carolina League of Municipalities, representing 540 cities, towns and villages across the state, thanks municipal officials and legislators for their hard work on many policy matters that benefited municipalities during this legislative session.

Among the key accomplishments that aided municipalities in their goals of providing services that benefit residents, and maintaining strong, economically vibrant cities:

  • Repeal of a de facto moratorium on municipal environmental ordinances.
  • An additional $9.4 million in Powell Bill funding, bringing total funding of the municipal transportation program to $146.3 million.
  • Repeal of burdensome E-Verify requirements on smaller contracts and purchases by  local government.
  • Adding $500,000 for grants provided under the Clean Water Management Trust Fund.
  • Providing $1 million for the Main Streets Solution Fund.
  • Expanding the uses of reclaimed water for public water supplies.
  • Requiring primary 911 centers to have back-up capabilities, but without burdening municipal taxpayers with requirements that separate facilities be constructed.
  • The continuation of incentives for films and TV productions.
  • Restrictions to prevent pension-spiking in order to strengthen the fiscal integrity of the state and local government retirement systems.
  • Requiring registration of moped users.

“Cities and towns enjoyed remarkable successes during this legislative session, even as we face significant policy challenges in the future,” said Goldsboro Mayor Al King, president of the N.C. League of Municipalities. “We look forward to working with our legislators and Governor Pat McCrory over the interim and next year to continue to find ways to keep cities healthy and flourishing.”

Mayor King noted that one of the key challenges in the coming year will be finding a replacement source of revenue for the pending repeal of privilege license taxes. “Eliminating the privilege license tax, without some form of replacement revenue, puts more pressure on property tax rates and city services. Maintaining modest property taxes has to be a part of the tax reform equation to promote economic growth.”

Governor McCrory and legislative leaders have committed to helping cities find a replacement source of revenue for the privilege license tax. In coming months, the League will be encouraging a robust discussion regarding the future of municipal finance and municipal services that promote economic growth.

“We believe this topic is vital to the future of North Carolina and to the quality of life that North Carolinians enjoy,” said League Executive Director Paul Meyer. “Economically vibrant cities create vibrant counties and vibrant regions. We look forward to these discussions moving forward.”           

About the League

The North Carolina League of Municipalities is a membership association of 540 great hometowns – representing nearly every municipality in the state. The League advocates for its members, from the largest city to the smallest village, on the full range of legislative issues that affect municipalities.

For more than 100 years, the League has promoted – and continues to promote – good government by offering non-partisan advocacy, insurance and other services – as directed by its membership.

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Posted on August 21, 2014 by Scott Mooneyham

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