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LINC'ed IN: October 12, 2012 

Out and About in North Carolina

NCLM Utilities Commission Advocacy Program Considered - As rate cases continue to be opened by investor owned utilities which include significant proposed energy cost increases for city governments, the League needs to know if you are interested in working with other cities to form this unique joint action effort to advocate for fair rate proposals before the NC Utilities Commission. This is particularly important if your city operates a water and / or street light program. Please respond to this interest survey. Contact: Paul Meyer 

Legislative Action Committees Continue to Work for Cities - League policy development committees will run through the last week of October. From there, recommended goals make their way to the NCLM Board of Directors for review and consideration, and then to the entire membership at the Advocacy Goals Conference January 24, 2013.  Get in the Game.  Contact: Paul Meyer

Economic Development Goals - The Tax & Finance Legislative Action Committee met on October 11, 2012 and recommended several economic development advocacy goals to the Board. Several of the goals supported additional funding for State programs that assist local economic development efforts and two proposed new or continued State tax credits. Contact: Karl Knapp

ETJ, Growth Tools Generate Lively Debate - League members held an intensely active discussion on the high-priority issues of extra-territorial jurisdiction (ETJ) and growth tools under the more restrictive annexation laws at Tuesday's meeting of the Planning & Environment Legislative Action Committee.  The committee has approved policy goal recommendations on those topics for consideration by the League Board of Directors. Goals that are ultimately approved by the League membership at the January 24, 2013 Advocacy Goals Conference will become part of the League's goal agenda. Get in the Game. Contact: Erin Wynia

Crystal Ball for Upcoming Environmental Issues - Legislators and regulators previewed many of the upcoming environmental issues they expect to take up in the coming months at Thursday's meeting of the Environmental Review Commission. Based on comments by legislators, at a future meeting, we expect them to consider topics like the ecological flow set-aside for stream flow as well as the process of collecting water quality data and determining whether waters are impaired. The chair of the regulatory Environmental Management Commission (EMC) forecast the EMC would consider topics like buffer rules, water quality standards, river basin models, a request to reallocate some of Jordan Lake for water supply purposes, and two pending water body inter-basin transfer requests. Contact: Erin Wynia

2012 Election Year Special Edition -  The Metro Mayors coalition  sent a questionnaire to each of the three candidates for governor on issues of importance to the Coalition. To see the responses, view the 2012 Special Edition Newsletter.

Electronic Signatures (THE INSIDER 10/10/2012) - State Controller David McCoy said Tuesday that the state has entered into an agreement that will allow state agencies and local governments to accept electronic signatures on documents that currently require "wet signatures." The controller's office has entered into an agreement with DocuSign Inc. that will allow the electronic signatures, following a 2011 directive from state legislators. McCoy said state residents and vendors will find it easier to do business with the state because "they will be able to sign forms and documents anytime, anywhere and from any web-accessible device." Among the projects already being put in place using the electronic signature platform are one that will allow state travel reimbursement forms to be processed electronically and another allowing job candidates who must undergo criminal background checks to release sign record waiver releases electronically. A four-month trial of the travel reimbursement electronic documents showed processing times being cut in half.

What's Up in DC

Answers to Key Questions - Plans are being made for the nation's first interoperable public safety network, which will rely partly on local infrastructure. The Middle Class Tax Act created FirstNet and $135 million in grants has been set aside for state and local planning. Click here for more. Contact: Kelli Kukura

Extra! Extra!

Cotton Candy and Fried Pickles - The N.C. State Fair has officially opened and will run through Sunday, October 21.

Coming Soon

General Assembly - Full Legislative Calendar

NCLM General Government Legislative Action Committee, October 17, 10:00 am, Albert Coates Local Government Center, Raleigh

NCLM Annual Conference, October 20-23, Charlotte Convention Center, Charlotte

NCLM Planning & Environment Legislative Action Committee, October 30, 10:00 am, Albert Coates Local Government Center, Raleigh

NCLM Transportation Forum, November 14, 9:30 am, Quorum Center, Raleigh

NCLM Advocacy Goals Conference, January 24, 2013, Raleigh Convention Center. Pre-Game January 23, 2012 PM