NC General Assembly

10:58 pm
Thu June 25, 2015

Teacher Assistants A Sticking Point In NC Stopgap Budget

Credit NC General Assembly

The North Carolina Senate and House remain far apart on the next spending plan with less than a week before the current budget runs out. The two sides have been working on a stopgap to keep the government running, but they weren’t able to compromise there Thursday, either.

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6:03 pm
Wed June 10, 2015

Rural Counties Top Urban In Sales Tax Distribution In NC Senate Tax Plan

The North Carolina Senate Chamber
Credit Government & Heritage Library, State Library of NC

North Carolina Senate leaders have unveiled their new plan to overhaul how the state distributes sales taxes and provides tax incentives to businesses. It gives a bit of ground from a March proposal that drew outcries from the governor, House lawmakers, the Charlotte Chamber, and city officials, but still contains the key elements of that earlier proposal. That includes a big hit to Mecklenburg County’s budget. 

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9:50 am
Thu June 4, 2015

Tricks Of The Legislative Trade

The North Carolina Senate chamber.
Credit Government & Heritage Library, State Library of NC

The process of legislating typically looks more like C-SPAN and less like ‘House of Cards,’ or other TV dramatizations of Washington. But the rules that govern Congress or the North Carolina General Assembly are both dense and malleable—occasionally you’ll see legislators exploit them in a way that seems made for TV. Below are some recent examples from the North Carolina Senate.

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5:59 pm
Wed June 3, 2015

Abortion Waiting Period Bill Goes to McCrory; Lawmakers Override 'Ag-Gag' Veto

Reia Chapman of SisterSong speaks at last month at Charlotte’s Pearle Street Park. Planned Parenthood, NARAL, medical professionals and concerned citizens, held the news conference to launch a statewide tour of a 20-foot billboard urging Gov. McCrory to veto any new abortion legislation. During his 2012 campaign, McCrory answered “none” when asked what further abortion restrictions he would sign if elected governor.
Credit Davie Hinshaw / Charlotte Observer

The North Carolina General Assembly has passed a bill that requires a 72-hour waiting period for abortions.

The state House gave final approval to the bill Wednesday, sending it to Republican Gov. Pat McCrory's desk. The bill adds other rules for doctors and clinics that perform abortions and includes several unrelated criminal justice measures.

Three other states have 72-hour waiting periods: Missouri, South Dakota and Utah. Oklahoma's waiting period of that length goes into effect in November.

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8:03 am
Tue May 19, 2015

NC House Draft Budget Released; Debate Begins

The debate begins over the House's proposed budget.

The North Carolina House of Representatives has released its proposed $22 billion budget for the state and the debate has begun.

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7:00 pm
Wed May 13, 2015

NC Lawmakers Push Partisan School Board Elections

Most of North Carolina’s local school boards are elected without any party labels attached to candidate’s names. But state lawmakers are now considering bills that would make elections for five school boards partisan. It’s something of a trend.

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Local News
5:15 pm
Wed April 29, 2015

Legislation Aims To Bar Doctors From Asking Patients About Gun Ownership

Credit Greta Ceresini / Flickr

Legislation in the North Carolina House would prohibit health care providers from asking patients if they own firearms. 

Dr. David Hill is a pediatrician in Wilmington. He says it’s important to ask about gun ownership because gun related death is among the top three causes of death for children in the U.S.

"There is evidence on counseling families on appropriate firearms storage can help reduce those deaths. So I ask about firearms for the same reason I ask about car seats and fire detectors," says Hill.

A House Judiciary committee discussed the bill Tuesday. It is now in the House Rules committee.

The bill states that gun owners are entitled to privacy. But Dr. Hill says that in an exam room, when the physician is with a patient that they have a duty to care for, the question of gun ownership should be allowed.

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9:43 pm
Sun April 19, 2015

NC Lawmakers Consider Deregulation Of Health Care Facilities Construction

Credit National Conference of State Legislatures

Some North Carolina lawmakers want to roll back or repeal a law that regulates the building of new health care facilities. It's called a Certificate of Need law, and North Carolina has used it since the 1970s.

About three dozen states have Certificate of Need laws. They set up a review process through which states can determine when certain areas need new hospitals, surgical centers or even high-tech equipment.

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12:55 pm
Thu April 2, 2015

NC Lawmakers Behind Vaccine Bill Announce It's Dead

Credit National Conference of State Legislatures

A bill that would've made it tougher for parents to avoid vaccinating their children is dead. Fierce opposition from some parents prompted the two Republicans and one Democrat who sponsored it to back down.

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Local News
5:12 pm
Tue March 24, 2015

Proposed Changes To Sales Tax Distribution Worries Municipalities League Director

The opening of Charlotte’s Premium Outlets last year has helped boost Mecklenburg County’s tax base. A legislative proposal that would redistribute sales tax revenue base on population could hurt Charlotte and Mecklenburg County, but benefit smaller counties such as Rowan and Lincoln.
Credit John D. Simmons / Charlotte Observer

North Carolina legislative leaders are pushing for a significant change in how sales taxes are distributed.

Currently, 75 percent of all sales tax collections go to the county where the sales occurred. The rest is spread by population.

Senate Majority Leader Harry Brown of Onslow County wants to spread sales tax collections across the state by population.

“Large urban counties have had an unfair advantage for decades. This bill restructures the sales tax system so rural, poor counties can finally receive a fair shake,” he says.

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