Skip Ribbon Commands
Skip to main content

League Bulletin

February 19, 2021

​The filing of legislative proposals continued this week. A few worth noting:

-SB 100 Police Funding Protection Act - A proposal that could affect state funding for local governments. The extended title of this bill explains that cities and counties that reduce funds for law enforcement officers or law enforcement agencies “by an amount that exceeds on percent of the funds appropriated in any fiscal year for all other city or county employees or departments, or both, shall receive a corresponding reduction in state revenue…." Eyeing the conversation of “defunding" police, this bill received attention from WRAL News this week.

-HB 119 Property Tax Relief for COVID Affected Businesses - Allows for deferment of taxes if the qualifying property owner can show that the pandemic caused specific damages to business as laid out in the bill. It would also require assessors to “recognize the effect of COVID-19 relief efforts for purposes of determining the value of property resulting from a change in the legally permitted use of the property." 

-SB 31 Political Subdivisions/Local Bidders Notice - We pointed out the filing of this bill in last week's Bulletin. This week it received substantive amendments in committee, and these were changes the League supported. There's room for improvement, which we're working on. Generally, the bill would provide that political subdivisions of the state must notify persons or businesses in their limits by mail or electronic notice of work requiring an estimated expenditure of $50,000 or more being let for bid by the political subdivision. Under current law, invitations for bid proposals are advertised in the newspaper and/or by electronic notice. 

-HB 62 Gov. Immigration Compliance/Enjoin Ordinances - This bill, similar to others before it, would authorize injunctive relief against local governments that adopt so-called “sanctuary city" policies, ordinances or procedures in violation of state law. This bill is scheduled for a no-vote committee hearing on Tuesday. 

-HB 7 Protect City Employees from Retaliation - This one, providing that “cities shall adopt rules and regulations encouraging their employees to report improper or unlawful activity and requiring cities to protect employees who report such activity from retaliation or other discriminatory action," is expected in the House Local Government Committee next week. 

​What will the substantial delays in U.S. Census data and redistricting requirements mean for your municipality and local elections scheduled for 2021? Will elections be delayed? Join us on Thursday, Feb. 25 at 2 p.m. for another session of Advancing Advocacy, the League's virtual meeting format covering all things advocacy, to answer those questions and more related to the census' effects on upcoming municipal elections. We will be joined by Blake Esselstyn of Mapfigure Consulting and Caroline Mackie, an attorney with Poynter Spruill, to provide you with some expert perspective on the election-related issues created by the census data delays. To register, just click here. And as always, Advancing Advocacy is free of charge. Hope to see you there!

The N.C. League of Municipalities is proud to host the annual Town & State Social: A Virtual Town Hall Connecting Legislators and Local Leaders on Wednesday, March 3 at 5 p.m., this time presented in a virtual format.

Join us for this special evening to celebrate our cities and towns, and to discuss the most critical topics facing our local governments. This is a valuable opportunity for our local leaders and state legislators to meet, interact, and hear from one another regarding the pressing issues facing our cities and towns.

The event will include policy updates from numerous legislative leaders, town hall sessions between state and local officials, and networking opportunities that aim to strengthen relationships as we move into the 2021-22 legislative biennium. We will also be exploring NCLM's Municipal Legislative Goals, as adopted by you, our local leaders, and look at how they intersect with the challenges facing your city or town.

This won't be just another Zoom meeting. Be ready for an engaging evening, full of entertaining and valuable segments that, by evening's end, will help us in “Working As One, Advancing All." 

CLICK: Information and registration.

​The League is offering a webinar through its Advancing Municipal Leaders program to help members understand the distressed utility designation that is being implemented by the Local Government Commission (LGC) and the State Water Infrastructure Authority (SWIA). Distressed Public Utilities: What It Means for Municipalities is set for March 2, 10 – 11 a.m. (via zoom). Kim Colson from the Department of Environmental Quality and Sharon Edmundson from the LGC will be presenting more information about the distressed utility designation. Registration is available here.

​State government this week announced nearly $27 million had been awarded to 34 local governments “in response to the adverse and public health impacts of COVID 19…." The funds came through the Community Development Block Grant Coronavirus program and are chiefly meant to prevent evictions and utility disconnections. “Our communities need help in recovering from the pandemic and these funds will help with some of their immediate needs," said Gov. Roy Cooper. See the list of grantees.

​Twelve grant requests from local governments totaling $4.6 million have won approval from the state Rural Infrastructure Authority. They come with commitments to create 439 jobs, with more than $60 million in related private investment expected. “A broad-based economic recovery requires investments in rural North Carolina communities, and that is what these grants will do," Gov. Roy Cooper said in a press release. “These grants will help counties and towns with water, sewer and buildings to help their existing small businesses and residents as well as attracting more good paying jobs." See the full list of grantees and projects.

The League is devastated over the loss of Kelli Kukura, a dear friend, wife and mother who served as the organization's Learning and Development Strategist and who earlier played a central role in its Government Affairs division. Kelli passed away on Wednesday after a prolonged battle with cancer. 

Her husband, John, provided the following comments on social media: “Our sweet Kelli Kukura passed away just after three o'clock this afternoon with all the grace and calm she had hoped to have. We're shattered inside. But we know the overwhelming love for those she loved will always live on. One request: tell someone you love, that very sentiment this evening.

"We will share details about an end of life celebration soon.

“Thank you, Kelli, for showing us how to live. We will be forever grateful for your incredible and loving heart."

A GoFundMe page has been created to benefit her family. 

As reflected on the fundraiser page, Kelli had explained the following: “After 6 + years of metastatic breast cancer, 16 different chemos, tons of radiation and surgeries, my body has decided it has had enough. So glad I didn’t have to decide.

“So just two goals now: 1. Grace and 2. Calm.

“I truly could not ask for things to be going any better than they are. God's got me.

"All is well with my soul. Any extra hugs for my sweet and amazing family right now would be my only request. I am overwhelmed with their blessings.

“Love and hugs." 

Kelli was a beloved member of the League and other organizations she served. Her time with the League began in 2008, having transitioned from a 12-year tenure in public and government affairs roles at DuPont. She became the League's Director of Government Affairs and helped to form the organization's first Government Affairs Department. She oversaw numerous programming and functional additions for the organization, and did so with good team morale.

“Kelli's purpose for living was the elimination of barriers to greater happiness and future possibilities," said Paul Meyer, NCLM Executive Director and longtime friend of Kelli. They worked side by side in the Government Affairs Department. "She had an innate ability to unpack a tangled up mess, and build a path to beneficial outcomes for all involved. Memories of her zest for life and positive energy will continue to inspire us to learn and grow, so we can become the best versions of ourselves. She will be missed."

Kelli moved on to Duke Energy as its Director of Government Affairs in 2013, serving in that role for more than six years before rejoining the League as its Learning and Development Strategist. 

We will remember Kelli for her kindness, hard work and many achievements. Our thoughts and hearts are with Kelli's family and friends in this very difficult time.