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 February 27 

This week's developments

  • More budget cuts. Gov. Beverly Perdue asked most state agencies for additional spending reductions for current fiscal year, up to 9 percent of 08-09 budget. She also ordered transfer of up to $300 million from special funds to the General Fund, including $100 million from the Clean Water Management Trust Fund. This money will go into a reserve to balance the General Fund if needed. According to press release from governor's office, state has cash flow issues each year between mid-February and April 15, and situation worse this year because final corporate income tax payments due April 15 rather than March 15.
  • Electronic bulletin update: Clean Water Management Trust officials are assessing the effect of the transfer on current grant awards and plan to make no additional awards in the immediate future.
  • Letter to legislators on annexation. We sent a letter to all General Assembly members on Friday to let them know we will be keeping our commitment to address the legislative concerns regarding the current annexation law.
  • Ethics Act proposed to apply to local officials. Reps. Cary Allred and Bill McGee have introduced legislation to require mayors, all other municipal and county elected officials, managers, clerks, finance officers and attorneys to comply with the provisions of the state's Ethics Act ( HB 287 – Extend Ethics Law to City/County Officials).
  • ETJ restrictions. HB 313- No ETJ with County Zoning Regulations has been introduced to prohibit cities and towns from extending their extraterritorial jurisdiction into an area if the county already has adopted and is enforcing zoning ordinance. Present law restricts cities and towns if county is enforcing zoning, subdivision and the state building code . Introduced by Reps. Larry Brown and Thom Tillis.
  • No annexation across county lines without county approval.  A bill restricting annexation across county lines introduced by Reps. Larry Brown and Thom Tillis. HB 314 --Annexing Across County Lines would prohibit cities and towns from annexing across county lines unless Board of Commissioners in that county approves. ...
  • Federal stimulus details. By Tuesday, the League will post details on federal stimulus programs of interest to cities and towns. For more information on the federal stimulus package vist the federal stimulus  [link to page] page.

Action Items

Contact your legislators about these issues ...

Annexation is a matter of fairness and good growth

What bills would do: Bills restrict or eliminate municipal annexation authority. (HB 255, HB 314, SB 148)
Actions Needed: Call your legislators, Speaker Joe Hackney, Senate President Pro Tem Marc Basnight and other legislative leaders. They need to hear from you and from citizens who support fairness between in-town and near-town residents as well as good growth management for our hometowns.
    Speaker Joe Hackney -- (919) 733-3456     
    Rep. Hugh Holliman, House Majority Leader, (919) 715-0873
    Rep. Skip Stam, House Minority Leader, (919) 733- 2962
    Senate President Pro Tem Marc Basnight -- (919) 733-6854

HB 193 - Electronic Notices
What bill would do
: Bill expands to all cities and counties authority to adopt local ordinances setting electronic notices as substitute for other published notices. This is an item on the League's advocacy agenda.
Action needed: Ask for support from members of House Government II Committee – Chairman: Rep. Braxton; Vice-Chairs: Reps. Langdon, Stam and Tucker; Members: Reps. Blackwell, E. Floyd, Gibson, Guice, Lucas, McElraft, Owens, Samuelson, Spear, Stewart, E. Warren and Wiley.

Bill Summaries

GENERAL GOVERNMENT

HB 320 Regulation of Golf Carts by Local Governments
Sponsors:   Neumann; Moore
Status:   House Local Government I
Authorizes all cities to regulate golf carts on public streets and on property owned or leased by the city. Ordinance may require registration of golf carts, specify the required equipment and hours and methods of operation. Repeals local acts.

PUBLIC SAFETY

HB 257 – No Seizure of Lawful Firearms in Emergency
Sponsors:
  Cleveland, Hilton; Moore; Wiley
Status:   House Judiciary III
Prohibits seizure of lawfully possessed firearms, ammunition, and ammunition components during a declared state of emergency.

HB 269 – Concealed Handgun Permit Valid in Parks
Sponsors:
  Hilton, Burr, Cleveland, Gulley
Status:   House Judiciary III
Repeals the authority for local governments to prohibit the carryiing of concealed handguns in local government parks.

SB 252 – Strengthen Local Emergency Management
Sponsors:
  Snow
Status:   Senate State and Local Government
Authorizes joint emergency management agencies composed of a county and one or more cities within the county's borders; two or more counties; or two or more counties and one or more cities. Provides that where a state appropriation does not allocate funds between counties, the amount allocated to each county shall be determined annually by the Division of Emergency Management, with the size of the allocation to be based in part on the degree to which local plans and programs meet state standards and requirements, including those relating to professional competencies of local personnel. Division may take into account the fact that a particular county may lack sufficient resources to meet the standards.

SB 254 – Allows Mutual Aid between State & Local Gov
Sponsors:   Snow
Status:   Senate State and Local Government
Provides that the Governor may establish mutual aid agreements with political subdivisions in the state with the concurrence of the subdivision's governing body.

SB 255—Authorize Emergency Mgmt. Certification Prog
Sponsors:   Snow
Status:   Senate State and Local Government
Establishes a voluntary Emergency Management Certification Program to strengthen and enhance the professional competencies of emergency management personnel in state and local emergency management agencies.

SB 256 – Clarify Local Government Evacuation Authority
Sponsors:   Snow
Status:   Senate Judiciary I
Allows local state of emergency ordinance to direct and compel the evacuation of all or part of the population from any stricken or threatened area within the governing body's jurisdiction, to prescribe routes, modes of transportation, and destinations in connection with evacuation; and to control ingress and egress of a disaster area, the movement of persons within the area, and the occupancy of premises therein.

SB 258 – Authorize Voluntary Medical Registry Program
Sponsors:   Snow
Status:   Senate Health Care

Allows Division of Emergency Management to establish a voluntary model registry for use by political subdivisions in identifying functionally and medically fragile persons in need of assistance during a disaster.

SB 307 – Regulate Ownership & Use of Certain Reptiles
Sponsors:   Jones, Ed (D4)
Status:   Senate Judiciary II

Regulates ownership of certain venomous reptiles, large constricting snakes, and crocodiles and requires registration with local law enforcement.