Raleigh, N.C. — The House gave preliminary approval Wednesday to a proposal to charge people $90 a year to be listed on the state sex offender registry.
People convicted of sex-related offenses would be listed on the registry regardless of whether they pay the fee, but House Bill 684 calls for the state Attorney General's Office to bring civil actions each year against those who don't pay in an effort to collect the money.
"This fee is just one more strike, one more imposition," said Rep. Verla Insko, D-Orange.
Insko said the state needs to revise its sex offender registry law because many people are required to register because of offenses they committed as teens and that that status affects their family life and ability to obtain jobs.
The House voted 96-15 in favor of the bill. A final vote is expected Thursday.
More options for local sales tax
In other business, the House voted 100-9 to tentatively approve House Bill 333, which would allow communities to use local sales tax revenue for education purposes, such as teacher salary supplements, school construction or community college support.
Communities still aren't allowed to collect more than 2.5 or 2.75 percent in local sales taxes, depending on how they're classified under state law, and all such taxes would have to be approved by local voters in 0.25-cent increments.
But Rep. Susan Martin, R-Wilson, said bill would provide more flexibility to communities, saying they could "mix and match" sales taxes to meet their needs. She added, however, that a community would have to return to voters for permission if it wanted to redirect a previously approved local sales tax, such as the half-cent for transit Triangle counties have approved in recent years, to a new purpose.
A final vote on House Bill 333 also is expected Thursday.