Skip to Main Content



^ Back to Top

General Assembly Session Ramps Up

Bill introductions continued this week as committees began to meet and House and Senate floor sessions began in earnest.  While the pace of bill fillings will quicken over the next few weeks, we expect the appropriations process to kick into high gear as well.  Continue to work with your delegations on local and statewide issues, and as always, feel free to contact members of the League Advocacy staff. Contact: Paul Meyer
^ Back to Top

Unemployment Insurance Reform Nears Final Approval

The State House of Representatives gave its approval to unemployment insurance reform legislation (HB 4) on Tuesday, and the bill was approved by the Senate Finance Committee without amendment on Wednesday.  It is scheduled for a vote by the full Senate next Tuesday.  The bill would require municipalities that are reimbursable employers to establish a reserve account with ESC equal to 1% of their taxable wage base.  Municipalities would build their reserves through four quarterly payments between October 2013 and July 2014 and annually replenish the fund in future years to account for claims and growth in their taxable wage bases.  The bill also would eliminate the option for municipalities to use the 120% reimbursement method with appeal rights when paying claims.  Contact: Karl Knapp
^ Back to Top

Unnecessary & Restrictive Constitutional Amendment Targets Annexation, ETJ

HB 79 -- Annexation Amendment was filed Wednesday by Reps. Pittman and Hardister. If passed the bill would put before the voters a constitutional amendment requiring that "any annexation initiated by a city, town, or other government subdivision" be approved by a two-thirds majority of residents of the proposed annexation area. It would also unilaterally eliminate all extraterritorial jurisdictions in North Carolina. In light of recent changes to the annexation law, such a constitutional amendment is duplicative and unnecessary, and it would needlessly tie the hands of future legislators wishing to make changes to the annexation statutes. Economic development efforts would be significantly harmed by this amendment, and the League will vigorously oppose this bill. Contact: Paul Meyer
^ Back to Top

Motor Vehicle Property Tax Collections Threatened

Representatives Sarah Stevens (R-Surry) and Edgar Starnes (R-Caldwell) have introduced legislation (HB 30) to stop the implementation of the combined motor vehicle registration and property tax collection system.  This system would dramatically improve collection of motor vehicle property taxes by requiring that they be paid along with registration and renewal fees.  The system has been under development for six years and is scheduled to begin operation this summer.  Contact: Paul Meyer
^ Back to Top

Senate Aims to Remake Prominent State Boards

The Senate approved a proposal to reconstitute prominent state boards yesterday. SB 10 -- Government Reorganization and Efficiency Act now heads to the House. The bill would eliminate several boards as currently constituted, then reform those same boards, often with different membership qualifications, numbers of members, and appointing officials. Some boards targeted in the bill include the N.C. Environmental Management Commission, the N.C. Utilities Commission, the Coastal Resources Commission and Coastal Resources Advisory Council, the N.C. Turnpike Authority, the State Board of Education, and the State Board of Elections. Additionally, the bill eliminates twelve special Superior Court judge positions. Read more in this Charlotte Observer report. Contact: Erin Wynia.
^ Back to Top

Proposed Constitutional Amendment on Eminent Domain Before House

A proposed bill to allow voters to determine whether to limit the ability of public and private condemnors in the North Carolina Constitution will be voted on by the House next week.  HB 8 (McGrady, Stam, Lewis, Goodman) is virtually identical to a bill which passed the House last session but died in the Senate. In its current form, the use of eminent domain powers would be restricted to "public use" and would require trial by jury. The proposed election would be held during the general election of 2014. Contact: Paul Meyer


^ Back to Top

Increased Moped Regulations Would Achieve League Advocacy Goal

Echoing one of League members' Municipal Advocacy Goals, HB 48 -- Operation of Mopeds would require moped operators to possess a driver's license, register the moped, and carry insurance. At the Advocacy Goals Conference in January, League members selected moped regulation as one of their priority goals for the 2013-14 biennium. The League looks forward to working with Rep. Shepard on this bill. Contact: Paul Meyer 
^ Back to Top

Bill Would Encourage Municipal Contracting With Local Businesses

Senator Stan Bingham (R-Davidson) has introduced legislation (SB 19) to require that bidders on municipal and county building contracts document their good faith efforts to hire local firms for work on the contract. The bill would require bidders to provide documentation with the bid showing that they contacted local businesses, provided them with plans and specifications, and negotiated with interested parties. The bill does not set aside low-bid or non-discrimination requirements for municipal contracts.  Contact: Karl Knapp
^ Back to Top

Disadvantaged Areas Could Benefit From HB69

HB 69 would establish "Opportunity Advancement Zones" that would be designated based on the income levels and unemployment rate within a given area. These zones would be treated as if in the economic development tier one step below that of the county they are located in and would be eligible for increased credits for job creation and business investment within the zone. This bill could help to address the concern raised over the years by League members who have felt restricted in their ability to promote economic development because they are located in a county that on the whole is more prosperous than their jurisdiction, thus making it more difficult to access meaningful credits for job creation and business investment. Contact: Karl Knapp
^ Back to Top

Get to Know Your Legislators

With so many new faces at the General Assembly this year, it's the perfect time for you and your hometown to take advantage of grassroots opportunities to get involved through League LINC and get to know your legislators. Take a few moments to check your calendars and make plans to coordinate travel for a "Bring 5" group to Raleigh to visit legislators on a Tuesday or Wednesday, to update your relationships in LeagueLINC, to attend Town Hall Day March 27, and to visit with your legislators when they're home for the weekend. Make a plan to engage your hometown community in legislative efforts this session. Working together, we can make a difference. Contact: Jennifer Webb

^ Back to Top

Government Affairs Team Welcomes Two Interns

The League's Government Affairs team is excited to welcome two new interns for the spring semester. Both students come to the League with strong backgrounds in law and municipal government. Jordan Smith, currently in his second year at Campbell Law School, also holds a Master's of Public Administration from N.C. State University. Cindy Plante, currently in her second year of the public administration master's program at N.C. State, is a licensed attorney and Campbell Law School graduate. Jordan and Cindy will assist League staff and members with bill analysis, legislative tracking, issue research, and technical assistance requests. They join Sarah Collins and Jenifer Della Valle (Research), who have been serving as Government Affairs interns since the Fall.