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LINC'ed IN: September 28, 2012 

Out and About in North Carolina

New State Policy on Internet Sweepstakes Cafes Debated - At the N.C. Planners' Association this week, there was a very detailed conversation and continuing interest in maintaining land use decision making authority over the location and operations of internet sweepstakes cafes. The League General Government Legislative Action Committee met this week and is currently debating what policy it will recommend to the League Board and membership at the 2013 Advocacy Goals Conference - January 24, 2013 in Raleigh. Contact: Paul Meyer

Post-Annexation Reform Task Force meets today - The League member task force working to propose legislative goals to the Legislative Action Committees on maintaining healthy cities and towns in a world without city-initiated annexations meets today. They are reviewing a priority ranked set of goals to try to address the losses brought on by the new law. They will also be looking at best practices that various cities and towns are considering, and how to make that information broadly available to all. Contact: Kelli Kukura

Help with New State Imposed MPO/RPO Ethics Requirements - The State Ethics Commission will be applying the State Ethics Act to all members/staff of Metropolitan Planning Organizations and Rural Transportation Planning Organizations, effective January 1, 2013, as a result of legislative action during the 2012 Short Session of the General Assembly. The League is sponsoring a statewide webinar with members of the State Ethics Commission staff to explain how this will impact both individuals, and units of local government, sometime in early to mid-October. Be on the lookout for future announcements! Contact: Paul Meyer

New leadership chosen - Speculation over who will be chosen to lead the newly-formed N.C. Mining & Energy Commission (MEC) has been put to rest today as the board selects Lee County Commissioner James Womack as the new chair. Meeting for four hours in Raleigh (agenda here), the group had only one nominee. Read Commissioner Womack's perspective on natural gas extraction in "State fracking chair hopeful: enviro warnings 'emotional,' 'overblown'" (WRAL). After deadlocking over two candidates nominated for the position of vice-chair, legislative appointee George Howard and gubernatorial appointee Charlotte Mitchell, the MEC voted to defer the vote to its next meeting. The MEC has primary responsibility for writing the state's rules governing the practice of natural gas extraction. Contact: Erin Wynia

Redistricting Article - Pontifications and theories abound at this point in the presidential election cycle, and this month's issue of The Atlantic contains a piece regarding redistricting, with a focus on North Carolina's redistricting process. The article profiles Tom Hofeller, who was hired to assist N.C. legislators in drawing the maps that are in place for this fall's state and federal contests. Contact: Erin Wynia

NCDOT Needs Your Input on Bike and Pedestrian Policy Setting - The NCDOT has organized a series of meetings across NC to ask cities what they think bike and pedestrian oriented programs should look like in the future, and the policy the State DOT Board should adopt. Please attend these meetings if at all possible (Regional Workshop RSVP) to provide input on this important topic. N.C. Comprehensive Pedestrian and Bicycle Plan. Contact: Paul Meyer

Get to Know Your Legislative Candidates Now -

26% of NCGA Senate will be Freshman.
32% of NCGA House will be Freshman.

What's Up in DC?

Your Hometown in Lights - National League of Cities is offering a new opportunity to spotlight member cities on the NLC website and in the weekly e-newsletter distributed to more than 16,000 people in the membership. To take advantage of the NLC Member Glance opportunity, complete this form. Contact: Alison Scher

Extra Extra

Operation Medicine Drop - Poisoning is the fastest growing cause of teen death in North Carolina, often due to misuse of prescription drugs. To help get unneeded substances out of home medicine cabinets, Safe Kids has instituted an award-winning drug-take back program where prescriptions are collected and then safely disposed. Operation Medicine Drop, partnering with the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) has scheduled a National Prescription Drug Take-Back Day for Saturday, September 29, 2012, from 10 AM to 2 PM. For more information and a drop-off site near you visit Operation Medicine Drop.  Contact: Martha Sue Hall

Coming Soon

General Assembly - Full Legislative Calendar

NCLM Regulatory Action Committee, October 2, 10:00 am, Albert Coates Local Government Center, Raleigh

Nutrient Science Advisory Board, October 5, 9:30 am, Triangle J Council of Governments Meeting Room, Durham

NCLM Planning & Environment Legislative Action Committee, October 9, 10:00 am, Alamance Country Club, 2409 Pineway Drive, Burlington

Environmental Review Commission, October 11, 9:30 am, Legislative Office Building Room 544, Raleigh

NCLM Tax & Finance Legislative Action Committee, October 11, 10:00 am, Albert Coates Local Government Center, Raleigh

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