CONSISTENTLY DELIVERS

Feb 16, 2015

NC Politics in the News

The primary focus of the North Carolina General Assembly last week was the state budget. Last week the Joint Appropriations Subcommittees met and reviewed last year’s budget as well as what the legislature needed to financially focus on in the upcoming years. On Thursday, to the Joint Appropriations Committee heard from the General Assembly’s Fiscal Research Division, who predicts there will be a $271 million shortfall this fiscal year.

 
BUDGET & TAX

CITIZEN-TIMES: NC income tax refunds may disappoint
Many North Carolinians will pay less state income tax but get smaller tax refunds after they file their 2014 returns because of changes in the state's tax structure, the General Assembly's top economist told legislators Thursday.

WRAL: State budget outlook a mixed bag
State lawmakers heard both good and bad news in revenue and budget forecasts delivered Thursday by legislative economists.

CHARLOTTE OBSERVER: Tax-change renewal could hurt troubled homeowners in North Carolina
North Carolina lawmakers are poised to renew a rule requiring homeowners to pay state income taxes on mortgage debt forgiven by lenders – a move that could cost some homeowners thousands of dollars in additional taxes.

 
ECONOMY & ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT

WRAL: House lawmakers preparing economic development bill
Members of the state House will roll out an economic development package next week that includes a revamp of the JDIG job recruitment fund and pave the way for small investors to help fund startup companies, according to multiple lawmakers with knowledge of the bill.

NEWS & OBSERVER: Legislators file competing NC crowdfunding bills
Competing crowdfunding bills that would enable startups to solicit investments from the public, including solicitations over the Internet, have emerged in the state legislature.

NEWS & OBSERVER: Gov. Pat McCrory’s administration has nearly depleted NC’s job incentives program
After promising employers nearly $300 million in incentives grants for new jobs in his first two years, Gov. Pat McCrory’s administration has nearly depleted the main pot of money the state uses to lure companies to North Carolina.

 
EDUCATION

WRAL: School calendar debate likely to wait until after summer break
Wake County is among dozens of school districts pushing lawmakers to roll back a decade-old calendar law that keeps school officials from beginning the academic year before Aug. 25, but progress on any such bill is likely to be slow this year, if it comes at all.

NEWS & OBSERVER: NC committee to recommend sweeping changes to student testing
A state group wants to eliminate many of the hours-long, high-stakes tests that stress many students and whose results have come to define public schools.


ENERGY & ENVIRONMENT

CITIZEN-TIMES: Coal ash upside? State, Duke seek beneficial uses
Advocates of coal ash recycling say a recent federal ruling that determined the waste is not hazardous has paved the way for continued use of coal ash in concrete and other industries.

 
HEALTH CARE

WINSTON-SALEM JOURNAL: Health Secretary still hedging on timeline for possible Medicaid expansion
The state’s health secretary continued today to try to put the best foot forward on how the N.C. Department of Health and Human Services is performing even as she skirted again giving a timetable on a potential Medicaid expansion.

NEWS & OBSERVER: Study finds NC health care regulations drive up costs
North Carolina’s health care regulations drive up medical costs by restricting the supply of hospitals and services, according to a research paper issued Thursday by a pair free-market advocates at George Mason University.

 
PUBLIC SAFETY

WINSTON-SALEM JOURNAL: Proposed state legislation doesn’t deal with proper limits on monitoring by law enforcement
The General Assembly will get its first formal look Thursday at a bill aimed at bringing more clarity to the state’s unmanned aircraft system law, which was enacted in August.

STAR NEWS: Group wants bill to decriminalize syringe possession
The North Carolina Harm Reduction Coalition wants to strengthen HB850 to include the comprehensive decriminalization of syringes.

 


 

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Bo Heath, Vice President

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