NC General Assembly

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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.

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.

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.

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.

Rusty Clark / Flickr

The North Carolina House has voted for a slight drop—followed by a more substantial hike—for the state gas tax. Lawmakers have called the bill a stopgap.

Jim Bowen / Flickr

A bill containing tax breaks to lure businesses to North Carolina passed its first vote in the state House of Representatives, although it divided both parties. The bill expands several economic incentives, but sponsors emphasized one goal in particular: to lure a carmaker to the state.

A proposed amendment to North Carolina’s constitution seeks to restrict when state and local governments can seize private land. The amendment passed the state House of Representatives last week, is on to the Senate, and would ultimately require voter approval in 2016, but the actual effect is uncertain.

Ben Bradford / WFAE

Republican sponsors called it a tax cut, but a bill awaiting one final vote in the North Carolina Senate would ultimately raise the tax. And, those same sponsors are counting on the revenue it will bring in.

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The website for North Carolina’s General Assembly can be a bit confusing to navigate. Today, well, let’s just say, "bless their hearts."

Democratic party activists in North Carolina last weekend chose former legislator Patsy Keever of Asheville as the new chair of the state party. She takes the helm as North Carolina Democrats face fundraising struggles and a continued Republican “super-majority” in the General Assembly. Keever will no doubt hear from a recently-formed coalition of House and Senate lawmakers who've dubbed themselves the N.C. Main Street Democratic Caucus. They promise to push for “centrist” and “pro-business” policies in the legislature.  Senator Joel Ford of Mecklenburg County is part of the caucus. He says, Democrats in the state have gotten distracted by focusing too much on issues like same-sex marriage, abortion and the environment.