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In the News

April 2014 Fayetteville's First Man and the Lady Beside Him

April 2014 The Military Man in Charge of Transportation in North Carolina

04.04.2014 Duke Energy to test 'growth regulator' on Greensboro trees

04.03.2014 Commerce leaders chafe at proposal to impose ethics, salary rules on nonprofit

04.03.2014 Initial road rankings could help Triangle

04.03.2014 McCrory: Tillis is most viable GOP challenger to Hagan

04.03.2014 Per-mile vehicle tax could generate more revenue for DOT

04.03.2014 Questions arise on NC public-private economic partnership

04.03.2014 Tax Foundation: NC is No. 17 for tax burden

04.03.2014 Thom Tillis campaign money overlaps with legislative, super PAC interests

04.03.2014 Turner denies political motive

04.02.2014 City makes offer to buy Dorothea Dix property

04.02.2014 McComas Resigns From Ports Boards

04.02.2014 Quietly or not, lobbying continues for Charlotte mayor job

04.01.2014 Council members pitch needs to state lawmakers

04.01.2014 Moffitt alleges politics at play in Turner complaint

04.01.2014 New study rekindles debate over economic impact of NC film incentives

04.01.2014 North Carolina flooded with Senate ads

04.01.2014 Odds for I-26 funding looking better in new report

04.01.2014 Study: $9 return for every dollar spent on N.C. film tax incentive

04.01.2014 Unusual Events Force Exceptional Turnover in Charlotte Mayor's Office

03.31.2014 Councilman's legacy: 'Leading by example'

03.31.2014 Fayetteville City Council accelerates sewer access by 100 homes

03.31.2014 Greensboro won't appeal over tree trimming rules

03.31.2014 NCDOT asked to consider taxing drivers by the mile

03.31.2014 Vote on Charlotte Mayor Patrick Cannon's replacement delayed until April 7

03.29.2014 Patrick Cannon scandal could propel change over control of Charlotte airport

03.28.2014 Sale to Duke Energy could lower local rates

03.27.2014 The Time May Have Arrived for Online Sales Tax Fairness

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Legislators Discuss Transportation Funding For Hydraulic Fracturing

The Joint Legislative Commission on Energy Policy -- an interim commission of legislators that oversees the work of energy policy boards in the state -- met Tuesday and received reports from the Mining and Energy Commission (MEC) and other state agencies regarding the planned regulatory program and legislative changes needed for oil and gas exploration activities in the State, including those related to hydraulic fracturing.

Jon Nance, Deputy Chief Engineer with the N.C. Department of Transportation (NCDOT)discussed planned changes needed to accommodate the heavy use of roads due to oil and gas recovery and explained NCDOT's goals of maintaining a safe transportation network, protecting infrastructure, and recovering costs. Representative Mike C. Stone emphasized his wish that money collected from oil and gas companies remain in the affected local community to fix the damaged infrastructure. The League participated with NCDOT in the MEC's Funding Levels and Potential Funding Sources Study Group, and the study group's report stressed the importance of providing funds to local municipalities to repair any damage. In addition, Donald R. van der Vaart, Director of DENR's Energy Policy Program, stressed that local communities should receive an equitable portion of the severance tax charged to the oil and gas companies.

MEC Chair Jim Womack told legislative members to expect the MEC to finish development of all its rules by May, and the 60-day public comment period to be from July 15 through September 15, 2014.


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League Announces Regulatory Joint Action Program, REG-TAF

The League is excited to announce the formation the Regulatory Technical Assistance Fund (REG-TAF). REG-TAF is a voluntary joint action program, created to protect N.C. municipalities’ collective interests by hiring external technical support for water quality and electric regulatory issues. The League membership asked the League to organize this annual voluntary joint action program after the success of two previous League member-supported joint action programs -- the Municipal Environmental Assessment Coalition (MEAC) and the Municipal Energy Group (NC-MEG).

REG-TAF will be a continuing program comprised of annual voluntary contributions. In some years, the funds will support both water quality and electric regulatory issues, and in other years, funds may only be spent on one issue. Funds will be expended at the direction of an oversight committee comprised of members of the League’s Board of Directors with suggestions from all REG-TAF participants.

The suggested voluntary contribution depends on the potential benefit a municipality or authority will receive from joint regulatory technical assistance, given its electric consumption, wastewater generation, and stormwater controls. The REG-TAF proposal provides more information about the program and the voluntary suggested contribution. If you have any questions, please contact League Regulatory Affairs Associate Sarah Collins.


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Mayors, Police Chiefs Appointed to Governor's Crime Commission

Governor Pat McCrory announced his appointments to the Governor's Crime Commission (GCC) this week, and four municipal officials were among those named. Mayor Miles Atkins of Mooresville, Mayor Nat Robertson of Fayetteville, Police Chief Tom Adkins of Hickory, and Police Chief Michael Yaniero of Jacksonville were all named to the Commission. The GCC serves as the chief advisory body to the governor and the secretary of Public Safety on crime and justice issues. Chief Yaniero is also a member of the League's General Government Legislative Action Committee, which Chief Adkins recently addressed in his role as President of the N.C. Association of Chiefs of Police. In a release announcing the appointments, Gov. McCrory said, "We have chosen an elite group of individuals, knowledgeable of safety measures and the reality of crime. I'm confident these men and women will work tirelessly to make North Carolina a safer place to live." The League congratulates Mayor Atkins, Mayor Robertson, Chief Adkins, and Chief Yaniero on their appointments, and thanks them for their willingness to serve.
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Retirement Committee Commends Pension Spiking Reform to Legislature

The Legislative Research Commission's Committee on Treasurer Investment Targets and State Employee Retirement Options released a report of proposed retirement system reforms in its second meeting of the year on Monday. Committee Co-Chair Rep. Stephen Ross outlined the Committee's four findings and accompanying recommendations, which included a recommendation that the General Assembly address pension spiking in North Carolina's state and local government employees retirement systems. That recommendation, which did not identify a preferred approach to pension spiking reform, aligns with language the League Board of Directors recently voted to add to the League's Municipal Advocacy Goals for 2014. The League is working closely with committee leadership, the Department of State Treasurer and the North Carolina Association of County Commissioners on identifying the appropriate legislation to address pension spiking reform during the Short Session.
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Congratulations to Former League Intern Matt Meinig

Matt Meinig, who served as an intern with the League's Governmental Affairs team during the summer of 2012, began as a Legislative Analyst/Staff Attorney with the General Assembly's Legislative Drafting Division this week. The Division provides assistance to legislators in the preparation of bill drafts and bill introductions. Subject areas Matt will be working on include Local Government Budgets, Home Owner Associations, Mortgages, and more. Prior to coming to the League, Matt earned his Bachelor of Arts in Political Science and his Master's in Public Administration from N.C. State University. He completed his law degree at Campbell University and passed the North Carolina Bar Exam in 2013. Matt was an extremely valuable resource to the League during his time here, and we look forward to working with him and wish him nothing but the best in the future. Congratulations, Matt!

Former League intern Matt Meinig began a job in the General Assembly's Legislative Drafting Division this week

 Congratulations to former League intern Matt Meinig on beginning as a Legislative Analyst/Staff Attorney with the General Assembly's Legislative Drafting Division.


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League Recruiting for Two Governmental Affairs Team Positions

The League this week began recruiting for two key positions on its Governmental Affairs team -- Advocacy Communications Strategist and Grassroots Coordinator. Both positions will work together and with the current members of the Governmental Affairs team to enhance the League's advocacy efforts and its outreach to members, the media, and city and town residents. More information about each position is available on the Jobs page of the League's website. The deadline to apply for both positions is Monday, April 14. Questions and application materials can be submitted via email to jobs@nclm.org.
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NCDOT Announces Release of Initial Project Ranking Data

This week the N.C. Department of Transportation (NCDOT) released initial data regarding the ranking of highway projects using the criteria established last year as part of the transportation reform bill, HB 817 Strategic Transportation Investments (now S.L. 2013-183). That legislation laid out the potential criteria that could be used to rank projects, and the League was part of an NCDOT work group that finalized the specific criteria that would be used for various classes of projects. The data released this week is only for projects that were already in the department's database and scheduled to begin construction after July 1, 2015, or were not scheduled at all. It does not include any newly submitted highway or multi-modal projects. Data for those projects will be released no earlier than May. In a press release, NCDOT Secretary Tony Tata said, "While the data is just an initial snapshot of how the Strategic Mobility Formula would benefit our state, the process is achieving our primary goals of reducing travel time, minimizing congestion, increasing safety, growing jobs, and enhancing multi-modal connections and freight movement. More importantly, it's clear that no matter how we prioritize our investments, we don't have enough funding available to meet our state's growing transportation demands."
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Van Duyn Chosen to Fill Seat of Sen. Nesbitt

Terry Van Duyn won a special election Thursday night to serve the rest of the term of the late Sen. Martin Nesbitt, the Asheville Citizen-Times reports. Sen. Nesbitt died March 6 from complications relating to stomach cancer. According to the Citizen-Times, Van Duyn garnered the necessary 51 percent of the vote from 149 members of the Buncombe County Democratic Party executive committee following three rounds of voting. She will also appear on the ballot for the November election. The League congratulates Ms. Van Duyn on her victory and looks forward to working with her in the upcoming legislative session.
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Free Webinar on Using Transportation Data Wed., April 16

The National League of Cities (NLC) is offering a free webinar on Wednesday, April 16, entitled "How to Make Transportation Data Work for You." The webinar is being co-sponsored by the American Society of Civil Engineers. The goal of the webinar is to help local elected officials translate valuable national transportation data into digestible points and stories, and look at new data surrounding the overall economic impact of continued underinvestment in infrastructure, among other topics. For more information and to register for this free webinar, visit NLC's website.