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 January 30 

General Assembly convenes for what likely will be a difficult session

As General Assembly convenes, state budget shortfall for current year expected to exceed $2 billion.

Gov. Bev Perdue seeking additional spending cutbacks from state agencies to balance this year's budget. Leadership of General Assembly says major tax increases not the way to balance the budget for next year.

Legislative Leadership Elected:

House

  • Speaker: Rep. Joe Hackney
  • Speaker Pro Tem: Rep. William Wainwright
  • Majority Leader: Rep. Hugh Holliman
  • Minority Leader: Rep. Paul Stam

Senate

  • President Pro Tem: Sen. Marc Basnight
  • Deputy President Pro Tem: Sen. Charlie Dannelly
  • Majority Leader: Sen. Tony Rand
  • Minority Leader: Sen. Phil Berger

Annexation law changes are coming. Individual bills expected soon from Commission members' concepts. League continues to recommend 20-point proposal as legislative solution. See action items for details.

A bill was introduced this week to disapprove Jordan Lake rules. See action items for details.

Action Items

Bill/Issue: Annexation Law Changes
What it would do:
Majority of members on the Joint Senate and House Municipal Annexation Commission voted out 13 separate concepts on Jan. 22. Many are opposed by the League. See League Legislative Action Center at http://www.nclm.org/lachomepage.htm for details.

Status: Significant issue. League will continue to offer reasonable changes to address genuine concerns through 20-point proposal.

Action Needed: Communicate broadly in your communities about need for fairness between in town and near-town residents. Ask residents to contact legislators about need for all citizens to support the heart of their community. If North Carolina is to have a healthy economic future, annexation authority must be retained.

 

Bill/Issue: Jordan Lake Rules
What it would do: HB 3 (Reps. Allred and McCormick) would disapprove rules adopted by the Environmental Management Commission that impose nutrient management strategy on Jordan Lake. Precedent-setting possibility: In addition to affecting local governments in the Jordan Lake area, rules could set precedent for future rules in other watersheds.
Status: HB 3 assigned to House Rules. Stakeholders' negotiation process likely. League will focus on major areas of concern identified in our comments during rulemaking, including costly stormwater retrofit of existing development.
Action Needed: Affected local govern­ments continue to work cooperatively with each other and the League. Contact legislators to explain the issue and impact.

 

Bill/Issue: Bill Deadlines
House and Senate have set deadlines for bill introductions
House - local bills to Bill Drafting   March 18
Senate - local bills to Bill Drafting     March 3
Crossover Deadline       May 14

Bill Summaries

GENERAL GOVERNMENT

HB 2 - Prohibit Smoking in Public & Work Places
Sponsors: Holliman, Weiss, Glazier, Barnhart
Status: House Rules
Prohibits smoking in public places (enclosed areas to which public is invited or permitted) and in public and private places of employment. Exempts private residences, tobacco shops, and designated smoking hotel rooms. Authorizes local governments to adopt smoking regulations that are more restrictive than state law and that apply in public places or in public buildings, on grounds, or in publicly owned, leased or operated vehicles.

INSURANCE

SB 6 - Beach Plan and Ins. Rate and Deductible Stay
Sponsors: Boseman
Status: Senate Commerce
Imposes a stay until May 1, 2011 on increased surcharges and deductibles for certain property insurance under the Beach Plan and on property insurance rate increases for certain homeowner's policies across the state.

PERSONNEL

SB 14 - Create Employment Safety and Security Comm.
Sponsors: D. Berger
Status: Senate Commerce
Creates the Employment Safety and Security Commission. Retains functions of existing Employment Security Commis­sion, and has transferred to it the functions of the OSHA Division of the Department of Labor and certain other powers and duties of the Commissioner of Labor relating to employee safety. Effective January 1, 2010.