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LINC'ed IN: October 19, 2012 

Out and About in North Carolina

See You in Charlotte - NCLM Annual Conference Kicks Off this Weekend!  -  This year's annual conference is being held at the Charlotte Convention Center. Highlights of the conference include hearing from both gubernatorial candidates as well as candidates for the positions of lieutenant governor and treasurer. We have some dynamic, hand-selected keynote speakers and a plethora of concurrent sessions designed just for you.  On-site registration is available.

How to Get There From Here - Please plan to join us in Raleigh on November 14 for the League's Transportation Forum, Cities Leading the Way: Confronting NC's Transportation Challenges. The forum will build on the transportation session at the NCLM Annual Conference, in addition to the work the League's Legislative Action Committees have done this fall, by bringing together transportation experts and state and local officials for a discussion of the future of the state's transportation system and what role municipalities will play in that system going forward.  Contacts:  Paul Meyer and Chris Nida

General Government LAC Continues to Work - The GGLAC, chaired by Bernita Sims (High Point City Council) and Warren Cooksey (Charlotte), continues their efforts to hone the League's 2013-14 advocacy goals agenda. At its October 17, 2012 meeting, the committee reviewed and debated 65 member suggested proposals. The Committee's last meeting is scheduled for October 29 in Raleigh.  Contact: Paul Meyer

Local Government Retirement System Board of Trustees Releases 2011 Actuarial Reports - At today's meeting of the LGERs Board of Trustees, the board accepted the results of the system's actuarial valuation as of 12/31/2011. In a nutshell, the report calls for an increase in the local employer contribution rate from 6.70% to 7.07% of payroll.  If made by the LGERS Board/General Assembly, such a change would be effective July 1, 2013. The increase is ten basis points less than previous projections. Contact: Paul Meyer

GASB Changes Paint Different Picture for NC Pension Systems - Impending changes made by the Government Accounting Standards Board (GASB 67 and 68) will reduce the funded ratio of LGERS from almost 100% to 85-90% based on projections by the state actuary. These changes will take effect during FY 2013-14 for the actual pension systems themselves, and be required to be shown on local government balance sheets in FY 2014-15. Such changes could impact state bond ratings nationwide. Contact: Paul Meyer

House Pensions Interim Committee Met This Week - In the wake of national reports regarding overextended pension systems across the United States, the House Select Committee on Legacy Costs from the State Health Plan, Pension, and ESC met to discuss conditions in North Carolina. Following a long discussion of the State Health Plan, the Committee was shown a series of slides indicating that NC pension systems are amongst the strongest in the nation. The Committee received a briefing on the $2.6 billion unemployment insurance debt owed to the federal government by the state. Contact: Paul Meyer

Plenty of Water, Nowhere to Put It - North Carolina has a relatively abundant supply of water, particularly when compared with areas west of the Mississippi. However, the state has very few natural water storage options, forcing cities to explore creative options to ensure sufficient water supply for future growth. The League is working with state legislators who are exploring whether state laws need to change in order to increase the availability of water. Options could address reservoir development, reclaimed water, interconnections, water efficiencies, and private investment in infrastructure. And just this week, this News & Observer article highlights Raleigh's ongoing efforts to evaluate new water supply options, including a new reservoir or reallocation of a portion of Falls Lake. Contact: Erin Wynia

Water Rights Hang in Balance -  The fate of water rights in this state hinges on a case heard this week by the N.C. Supreme Court. The Court, which hears only a few dozen cases per year, heard oral arguments Tuesday in L&S v. Piedmont Triad Regional Water Authority, a case with the potential to definitely redefine water ownership in the state. League lawyers attending the arguments reported that the justices appeared engaged in the issues of the case, with most justices asking multiple questions of both sides. Contact: Erin Wynia

Coming Soon

General Assembly - Full Legislative Calendar

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

Wetland & Stream Mitigation--Legislative Review Commission, October 23, 10:00 am, 643 Legislative Office Building, Raleigh

Ecological Flows Science Advisory Board, October 23, 9:00 am, Stan Adams Training Center, Jordan Lake Educational Forest, 2832 Big Woods Road, Chapel Hill

NCLM General Government Legislative Action Committee, October 29, 10:00 am, Albert Coates Local Government Center, Raleigh

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

NCLM Tax & Finance Legislative Action Committee, October 31, 10:00 am, Dave Reynolds 2nd Floor Boardroom, Raleigh

Mining & Energy Commission, November 2, 10:00 am, Archdale Building Ground Floor Hearing Room, Raleigh

Nutrient Scientific Advisory Board, November 2, 9:30 am, Triangle J Council of Governments Meeting Room, Durham

Environmental Management Commission committees, November 7, 9:00 am (tentative), Archdale Building Ground Floor Hearing Room, Raleigh

Environmental Management Commission, November 8, 9:00 am (tentative), Archdale Building Ground Floor Hearing Room, Raleigh

NCLM Transportation Forum, November 14, 9:30 am, Quorum Center, 323 West Jones Street, Raleigh

Environmental Review Commission, November 15 (tentative), Raleigh

NCLM Advocacy Goals Conference, January 24, Raleigh Convention Center, Raleigh