Skip to Main Content

 April 17 

This week's developments

With a recent House deadline for bill introductions, there were a large number of bills introduced last week. Here are some that were introduced too late for last week's Legislative Bulletin. Please see bill summaries online for additional bills.

  • Constitutional amendment on eminent domain.  HB 1268 Eminent Domain authorizes a referendum on a constitutional amendment to prohibit use of eminent domain for economic development purposes, but provides an exception for condemnation of blighted property or for access to property. Introduced by Reps. Dan Blue, Paul Stam, and David Lewis. Got favorable report from House Judiciary II this week and was re-referred to Appropriations. The eminent domain statutes were amended in 2006 to address concerns about the use of eminent domain for general economic development purposes. Therefore, a constitutional amendment is not necessary.
  • Union representation in police disciplinary actions.  HB 1266 – Law Enforcement Officer Protection Act would establish the right to have a union representative present during questioning of a law enforcement officer who is being investigated for possible disciplinary action. League opposes. Current disciplinary processes are fair and effective.
  • Video or audiotapes of closed sessions.  HB 1263 – Keep Recordings of Closed Sessions would require cities and towns with population of 50,000 or more to make an audio or video recording of any closed session of a public body. League opposes.
  • Limits on city building inspections.  HB 1235 - Residential/Nonresidential Bldg. Inspections would require that cities and counties have "reasonable cause" before inspecting residential and nonresidential buildings and structures. Reasonable cause is defined as the landlord or owner having a history of noncompliance with building ordinances; a report of unsafe conditions or occupant request for inspection; or the inspector's actual knowledge of unsafe conditions. Cities and towns could require periodic inspections as part of effort to restore a designated blighted area. League opposes.
  • Another bill to require annexation vote.  HB 1382 - Annexation – Vote of Citizens would require a favorable vote by citizens in an area proposed for annexation. It would apply only in municipalities with populations of 150,000 or less. League opposes.
  • Ethics for local officials.  HB 1452 – Local Government Code of Ethics would require all local governments to adopt a code of ethics for the governing board. Governing board members would be required to receive at least two hours of training on conflicts of interest and ethical standards of conduct within 12 months of election or appointment. League supports bill in current form. ...
  • Making their voices heard.  We thank Greenville Mayor Pat Dunn for bringing a group of officials and citizens to Raleigh this week to meet with legislators in support of fair municipal annexation. We also appreciate Hendersonville Mayor Pro Tem Barbara Volk and Council Member Jeff Collis who came to Raleigh in support of HB 727/SB 472 this week.

 

Action Items

Contact your legislators in the next few days about these issues...

Oppose HB 1252/SB 1004, the "Deny Broadband to N.C. Communities" bill

Update: The House Committee on Science and Technology discussed, but did not vote on HB 1252 on Wednesday (April 15). It is our understanding that the bill will be voted on in committee next Wednesday (April 22). Two members of the NCLM Board of Directors, Wake Forest Mayor Vivian Jones and Salisbury Mayor Susan Kluttz, spoke before the committee in opposition to the bill, as did Wilson Manager Grant Goings and Kelli Kukura, NCLM director of governmental affairs. Our thanks to all the municipal officials and members of the coalition formed to oppose this legislation who came to Raleigh. Our thanks also to those who have called or contacted their legislators and who have adopted resolutions.
What the bills would do: Set requirements that would prohibit cities and towns from providing needed phone, cable television or high-speed internet services to their residents, businesses, educational and other institutions. Prohibit cities and towns from receiving funds from the $4.7 billion available from the federal stimulus package for rural communications infrastructure development. For a fact sheet and more information on this issue, go to the NCLM Legislative Action Center and click on "broadband."
Sponsors: Reps. Harrell, Jones, Avila, Tillis; Sens. Hoyle, Clary
Status: House Committee on Science & Technology; Senate Commerce Committee
Actions needed: Pass a resolution in opposition to HB 1252/SB 1004 and send to legislators listed above as well as your representatives and senators. Continue your contacts with representatives and senators to ask them to oppose. E-mail a copy of your town's resolution to JWebb@nclm.org (Sample resolution available.)

 

Support HB 148 – Congestion Relief / Intermodal Transport Fund

What the bill would do: Gives transportation authorities the power, with voter approval, to levy a one-half cent local sales tax to be used only for public transportation systems. (Applies to Wake, Durham, Orange, Forsyth, and Guilford Counties. Mecklenburg County already has such authority). Gives any of the other 94 counties that operate a public transportation system or have a municipality that operates a public transportation system the power, with voter approval, to adopt a one-quarter cent local sales tax to be used only for public transportation systems. Authorizes regional transit authorities to increase the local vehicle registration tax from a maximum of $5 to a maximum of $7 to adjust for inflation. The authorization is increased to $8, effective July 1, 2010. Authorizes counties with a county or municipal transit system to levy a maximum local vehicle registration tax of $7 per year.
Sponsors: Reps. Becky Carney, Lucy Allen, Deborah Ross, Bill McGee
Status : Favorable report from House Transportation and House Finance; to be voted on by full House next week.
Actions needed : The League and the Metropolitan Mayor's Coalition support the bill - ask your representatives to vote yes. For additional information, go to: http://www.ncgo.org

 

Support HB 727/SB 472 — Annexation Changes – Now in House Judiciary II and Senate Finance
What the bills would do: Enact 20 changes to address legitimate concerns of citizens while retaining fairness of annexation for in-town residents and annexation as tool for managing growth.
Sponsors: Reps. Love, Starnes, Allen, K. Alexander; Sens. Rand, Malone
Status: House annexation bills, including HB 727, in House Judiciary II Committee. Senate annexation bills, including SB 472, in Senate Finance Committee.
Actions Needed: Contact House Speaker Joe Hackney (919-733-3451) and Rep. Hugh Holliman (919-715-0873), as well as members of the House Judiciary II Committee to ask them to support HB 727. Explain why a vote by annexed residents is not right for North Carolina.

 

Oppose SB 1001/HB 881— Transportation Corridor Mapping changes

What the bill would do: Could result in the significant transfer of state-maintained roads to cities and towns. NC DOT would reclassify all roads and highways in its system and only major collectors, arterials or interstate routes would remain state system roads. Bills also divide Powell Bill into two payments in December and June of each year.

Sponsors: Sen. Clark Jenkins/Rep. Nelson Cole

Status: Senate Commerce Committee; House Transportation Committee

Actions needed : Please discuss with your legislators your opposition to transferring responsibility for state roads to cities and towns. League opposes; is working to address municipal concerns. Also a priority of the Metropolitan Mayors' Coalition.

Register now for NCLM Town Hall Day on May 6

Town Hall Day is our day to be heard on key municipal issues. There is no registration fee this year. Go to www.nclm.org to register.

 

Bill Summaries