Bill gets mixed reviews. Lobbyists for city interests are counting as a success Thursday’s N.C. House passage of a bill legalizing a new method of drilling for natural gas, largely for having preserved a say in the matter for local governments. The version of the bill House members approved on a 66-43 vote for the first time calls for giving seats on a new state mining commission to representatives of city and county governments from the part of the state that’s most likely atop a major gas deposit. And both the House and N.C. Senate versions of the bill omit language from an early Senate draft that would have barred cities or counties from regulating drilling operations via zoning laws. “We were fighting, first, to make sure local governments were not totally pre-empted,” said Erin Wynia, legislative and regulatory issues manager for the N.C. League of Municipalities. “And second, we wanted a voice in writing [upcoming] rules and regulations. We felt we were able to achieve that in the bill.”
Town managers switching roles. In a musical chairs game involving Lewisville and North Wilkesboro, the towns' managers have quit their jobs and switched places. Cecil Wood, who retired in February as town manager of Lewisville, was named Tuesday as the interim town manager of North Wilkesboro. North Wilkesboro Town Manager Hank Perkins announced two weeks ago that his last day would be July 5. He'll start the next day as town manager of Lewisville. They'll both start work in the other's former job on July 6.
Budget deal: Some money for schools, none for eugenics victims. House Speaker Thom Tillis and Senate President Pro Temp Phil Berger outlined the $20.2 billion budget deal that legislative leaders inked late Tuesday during a news conference Wednesday morning. Lawmakers haven't released copies of the budget to the public, but Berger and Tillis said that it included a 1.2 percent raise for state employees and public school teachers. The new budget plan will take effect July 1 if it becomes law.