Today @NCCapitol (Jan. 29): The Speaker Speaks

Posted January 29, 2013
Updated January 30, 2013

— Good morning, and welcome to @NCCapitol's morning roundup. Here's what you need to know about North Carolina state government today:

NOT QUITE BACK YET: Lawmakers held a one-day organizing session earlier this month, but have yet to take up an substantial business. That will change tomorrow, Jan. 30, when the General Assembly begins its session in earnest at noon. 

LIVE TODAY: House Speaker Thom Tillis, R-Mecklenburg, will hold a news conference to preview the upcoming legislative session. He'll probably get questions about the state's tax reform effort, rewriting the unemployment insurance laws and requiring voter ID at the polls. WRAL.com plans to live stream - check out Video Central on the home page. Sen. Phil Berger, R-Rockingham, held a similar news conference earlier this month.

ON THE LEGISLATIVE CALENDAR: The Joint Legislative Committee on Workers’ Compensation Insurance Coverage, Compliance, and Fraud Prevention and Detection will meet at 1 p.m. today. According to Sen. Harry Brown, R-Onslow, a committee co-chairman, the meeting will last for about 15 minutes and finalize the group's package of recommended legislation to the 2013 General Assembly. Brown told @NCCapitol that the committee would not recommend any major legislation, but would forward a package of smaller provisions, including greater transparency and greater ability for state agencies to work together to spot fraud.

GOVERNOR'S SCHEDULE: Gov. Pat McCrory is scheduled to be be on "Bill Bennett's Morning in America" show at 8:30 a.m. Click here to listen live.

FROM OUR NOTEBOOK: McCrory has said he will soon announce how he would like to proceed in order to repay more than $2.4 billion borrowed from the federal government to pay jobless claims. WRAL Capitol Bureau Chief Laura Leslie reports that a senior administration official told her on Monday that McCrory will back a plan pushed by House leaders that involves both cutting benefits and raising taxes on businesses. That plan will repay the debt quickly, but starting in July it would result in a loss of federally-funded benefits for those who have been unemployed for longer than 26 weeks.

FROM @NCCAPITOL LAST NIGHT: A liberal group challenged McCrory to live on an amount equivalent to the most generous weekly unemployment check under the House plan. Meanwhile, local groups reacted to to an immigration reform proposal in Washington, D.C. North Carolina's Congressional delegation offered some reaction as well.

FROM THE WIRE: Dept. of Health and Human Services Sec. Aldona Wos says the state still aims to move to a new Medicaid Management Information System (MMIS) July 1, despite problems and cost over-runs. To help meet that goal, Wos appointed Joseph Cooper Jr., who's worked for Bank of America, First Citizens Bank and most recently RBC Bank USA, to serve in the newly created position of chief information officer for her department. 

ELSEWHERE: The Asheville Citizen-Times reports that city government cannot prevent a gun show from being hosted on a municipally owned property.

IF YOU MISSED IT: From this weekend, here is our legislative preview and the handy 2013 N.C. General Assembly Issue Tracker. The tracker will help you keep up with the big stories and major bills working their way through the legislature. 

WE'LL BE BACK: Today @NCCapitol will appear by 8 a.m. each weekday of the legislative session, including Mondays and Fridays.  

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  • jgilchr Jan 29, 2013

    The new dark age of NC continues.