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Town Hall Day

Get Your "Green On" & Bring 5 to Town Hall Day

Make plans to wear Green and attend Town Hall Day Wednesday, June 6.  "Bring 5" of your community's business or civic leaders along for the day to help legislators recognize that we stand together with our community leaders in support of our hometowns. THD attendees will be receiving green neckties or scarves and blue League badges to wear for the day. So leave your necktie at home and Register today to receive discount registration fees for your "Bring 5" guests. (The deadline for online registration and reduced fees is midnight Tuesday, May 29. On-site registration will be available at a higher fee.)

Contact: Jennifer Webb, 919.715.1726


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Disappointment But Renewed Resolve for Balanced Growth in North Carolina

The North Carolina House has tentatively approved HB 5, de-annexing areas previously annexed by nine cities -- Asheville, Fayetteville, Goldsboro, Kinston, Lexington, Marvin, Rocky Mount, Southport, and Wilmington -- and HB 925, which requires all city-initiated annexations to face a vote of only the registered voters in the potentially annexed area.  HB 5, which also prevents the nine cities above from attempting future annexation of the areas for 12 years, passed the House by a vote of 67-49. HB 925, which effectively ends city-initiated annexation in North Carolina, passed by a vote of 70-44

Red-shirted annexation opponents filled the House gallery during the votes.

Annexation was a key tool for economic development, balanced growth and jobs in North Carolina for the last 50 years.  North Carolina's cities and towns are some of the top-ranked municipalities in the country, in large part because they have had the ability to manage growth locally and make wise-decisions for their communities as a whole.  This legislation, likely to be passed on final approval Tuesday, boxes cities in. Cities and towns will now be forced to make a number of changes that will likely be unwelcome to near-town residents. It is important all members call or email the following House members who spoke in defense of their cities and others on the floor of the House Thursday. Please DO NOT miss this opportunity to offer your appreciation:  Former Speaker Joe Hackney, Rep. Rick Glazier, Rep. Angela BryantRep. Bill Owens, Rep. Susi Hamilton, Rep. Marvin Lucas, and Rep. Kelly Alexander, and Rep. Susan Fisher

Contact: Kelli Kukura, 919.889.9040 


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Design Controls Bill Set Aside

SB 731 (Zoning/Design and Aesthetic Controls) was set to be heard in the House Commerce Committee on Wednesday of this week.  But after significant grassroots lobbying by city officials who understood how damaging the bill is to local decision making for the future of communities, the bill was removed from the calendar by Rep. McComas "for additional study."  While the bill is still alive for the session,  we believe it has been dealt a significant blow.  We encourage local officials to remain vigilant to stop this overreaching proposal. Please thank Rep. McComas for this effort.

Contact: Paul Meyer, 919.715.3930


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House Subcommittee Passes Transportation Budget

The House Appropriations Subcommittee on Transportation unanimously passed their budget this week with a 37.5 cent gas tax cap.  The cap required the Committee to find $60 million more in cuts beyond those resulting from lower than expected gas consumption.  As originally proposed, the Subcommittee budget would have increased existing cuts to public transportation by $9 million.  Rep. Shepard ran an amendment to roll back the cut to only $2.5 million and it passed unanimously.   Please thank Rep. Shepard for proposing this amendment.  The budget also allocates $45 million to the Mobility Fund to fund projects of statewide and regional significance that relieve congestion and enhance mobility across all modes of transportation.  It allocates funding to offset a one year delay of the new ferry tolling provisions included in last year’s budget.   

Contact:  Julie White, 919.675.1393


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Budget Next Steps

The House Appropriations subcommittees approved their budget reports this week.  The full Appropriations Committee plans to adopt a budget bill on Tuesday, and the full House hopes to approve the bill by the end of the week.

Contact: Karl Knapp, 919.715.9768


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Extension of Hold Harmless Sought

As part of its Advocacy Goals for the short session, the League supports the extension of the Transitional Hold Harmless payment to local governments beyond its 2012 expiration.  This payment, made annually in August, compensates certain local governments for the loss of State reimbursements that were not made up for by sales tax revenue.  League staff is working to have a three-year extension approved this year.  A list of cities and towns that receive this payment and a fact sheet on the issue are available.

ACTION NEEDED:

If your city or town will receive a payment in 2012, please contact your Senators and Representatives to express support for an extension.

Contact: Karl Knapp, 919-715-9768


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ETJ Bill Removes Local Ability to Manage Growth

HB 1043 ETJ Restrictions (LaRoque, Moffitt) was introduced this week.  The bill prohibits new extraterritorial jurisdictions (ETJs) in any areas subject to county zoning.  ETJs in areas with county subdivision regulations but without county zoning would require approval of the county commission.  The League strongly opposes the bill.  Click here for message points to share with your legislators. 

Contact: Kelli Kukura, 919.889.9040


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Legislators May Join Hands over Natural Gas Extraction

After introducing two bills that would set up the regulatory framework for natural gas extraction -- each with opposing views on how to write the regulations -- legislators may be ready for a compromise next week. Rep. Mitch Gillespie sponsored both proposals; in the first, a nine-member oil and gas board would write the rules, while in the second, a legislative panel would oversee the formation of the regulations. The League will advocate for local government input into the resulting process.

Contact: Erin Wynia, 919.715.4126.


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Bill Targeting Electricities Introduced

Companion bills have been introduced that would restrict the ability of member cities of the Eastern Municipal Power Agency to transfer funds from their electric fund to any other fund within the municipality.  HB 1114 (NC Eastern Municipal Power Agency/Use of Rate Revenue) would expand restrictions placed on Selma, Smithfield, and Clayton during the last session of the General Assembly to all EMPA cities.  The League opposes the legislation, and will work with Electricities to prevent its passage.

Contact: Paul Meyer, 919.715.3930


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Anti-Fraud Retirement Bill Introduced

In response to a growing number of complaints against state and local officials who allegedly "spike" end of career compensation in order to increase pension benefits, HB 1074 (Stop Waste, Fraud, and Abuse in Government Act) has been introduced.  In short, the bill grants the Retirement Division of the Office of State Treasurer broad access to personnel records, creates a rebuttable presumption that government employees are guilty of fraudulent activity if the staff believes it to be the case, and establishes the LGERS Board of Trustees as the adjudicator of cases.  Supportive of good government, the League is working to fine tune the bill with bill sponsors Moffitt, Cook, Setzer, Stone and H. Warren. 

Contact: Paul Meyer, 919.715.3930


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Upcoming Events

LINC in THURSDAYS are on the Web

LINC in THURSDAY weekly legislative updates are Webinars this year! Get connected each Thursday afternoon at 3 o'clock for this short and to the point legislative update. Be sure to RSVP before the 3 o'clock start time!

Upcoming Event Contact: Jennifer Webb, 919.715.1726

 

 

S. Ellis Hankins Kelli H. Kukura
Executive Director Director, Governmental Affairs