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League Bulletin

October 11, 2019

​WHAT HAPPENED: No state budget, but the legislature continued passing its series of "mini" budget bills to cover things as the impasse between the governor and lawmakers over the greater spending plan has somewhat petrified and the second half of a veto-override vote hangs in the air. 
WHAT IT MEANS: Senate leader Phil Berger told media​ that the combined total of the "mini" budgets and continuing funding from the previous plan has gotten somewhat near to the total of the overall state budget that Governor Roy Cooper vetoed months ago. In effect, that gives us some variation on an overall spending plan, observers said. 
ON TAP: The chambers might take up a few more "mini" budgets later this month. We're also looking for a final vote to extend the state Historic Preservation Tax Credit, which the Senate unanimously approved this week. More details follow in this bulletin.
THE SKINNY: We do seem to be near the end, possibly, according to a report in the Insider this week. It noted that rank-and-file legislators will have next week off while chamber leaders meet to go over what they need to accomplish before adjournment, which Senator Berger, for one, said he's eyeing for Oct. 31. 

The Senate this week, in unanimous votes, approved the extension of the state Historic Preservation Tax Credit for an additional four years. Passage of HB 399 Extend Tax Credits/Other Finance Changes should result in the achievement of a key League policy goal​ if the House agrees to Senate changes and Gov. Roy Cooper signs the bill into law. The tax credit, set to expire at the end of the year, would continue until Jan. 1, 2024 under the bill. The legislation is one of many bills that legislators approved that largely duplicates provisions within the state budget bill after Cooper vetoed that legislation and legislators have yet to either fully override the veto or agree to a compromise budget. The bill version approved by the Senate on Thursday does not include House provisions that would have increased the amounts that developers could take for individual project credits and that would have enhanced the credit in declared disaster areas. The House will now consider the Senate changes and can either accept them or seek to negotiate differences. 

Lawmakers this week approved and sent Gov. Roy Cooper a "mini" budget bill addressing the N.C. Department of Transportation and, with it, support for municipalities in Powell Bill funding. That's in HB 100 DOT Budget for 2019-2021 Biennium, a one-agency funding bill lawmakers passed in the absence of an approved, overall state budget. They also sent the governor HB 387 Growing GREAT, mentioned here last week. It's another "mini" budget expanding the GREAT program to Tier 2 counties, though local governments remain ineligible for the funds, meant to expand broadband opportunities.

The Senate did not concur with House changes to SB 433 DNCR Omnibus & Other Changes, which we reported on last week, when it received House attention. The House added provisions to the bill related to providing emergency operating funds for utilities, clarifications of the uses and reimbursement procedures for certain coastal storm funding, and inventorying fire-retardant foam. A motion to concur in the Senate failed 44-0. 
The governor signed HB 283 Conner's Law​, which among other things steps-up penalties for assault with a firearm on a law enforcement officer. “Law enforcement officers put themselves in harm’s way every day and we should never forget the sacrifice of those who have fallen in the line of duty," said Governor Cooper. 

They keep coming in. Great, local economic development and quality-of-life stories from municipalities all across the state are being told -- with clear focus on the municipality's role -- online at Here We Grow, via The League provides Here We Grow in partnership with WRAL TechWire as an unparalleled hub of good news coming out of North Carolina cities and towns, and Boone is the latest to be featured. The mountain town, growing with new faces, is working to meet residents' demands, which naturally favor the outdoor beauty. “A focus of our Town Council has been the preservation and expansion of our park property,” said Town Manager John Ward in the article. “We’re seeing growth. So they identified as a top priority to set aside some of our natural elements, protected in the form of parks.” Read more about their plan, and comb through a long list of other stories from North Carolina cities and towns, online now at Here We Grow is totally free for League-member cities and towns. Send questions about participation to League Communications Associate Jack Cassidy​.

Grammy Award-winning artist Common and cities-focused author Peter Kageyama are booked to keynote this year's City Summit​, the National League of Cities' annual conference that draws local government officials and supporters from across the country for a better tomorrow. It's set for Nov. 20-23 in San Antonio, Texas.  "The conference will offer local officials education for professional development, discussions on common challenges and new trends affecting cities and proven best practices that will improve local communities," says NLC. "Exclusive to NLC’s fall conference, mobile workshops offer city leaders a chance to see the success of peers during guided tours of noteworthy municipal projects." You can learn more about the 100-plus educational sessions and networking opportunities, and so much more, at