New bills would allow more leisurely breakfasts, end dues drafts for state employee groups

Posted January 28, 2015

Sen. Jerry Tillman, R-Randolph, thinks the folks who stop in to their local convenience store for coffee and a biscuit ought to be able to take a seat.

— A bill that would have allowed magistrates to refuse to marry same-sex couples may have gotten the most attention, but it was one of more than two dozen bills filed Wednesday.

Have a seat

Sen. Jerry Tillman, R-Randolph, thinks the folks who stop in to their local convenience store for coffee and a biscuit ought to be able to take a seat. 

Senate Bill 7 would let businesses licensed as "food stands" to install seating.

"It's totally idiotic that you can come in there and eat four biscuits and drink four cups of coffee but not sit down and do the same thing," Tillman said. 

Currently, health laws prevent businesses not licensed as restaurants from installing seating, even if they're only heating up sandwiches and drinks.

"I'm looking out for the small businessman and the older folks," he said. 

No drafting

Sen. Ralph Hise, R-Mitchell, is taking another swipe at a bill that would end the ability of state employees or teachers to have their memberships in unions or professional associations directly deducted from their paychecks. The move would affect groups such as the State Employees Association of North Carolina and the North Carolina Association of Educators. 

"I just don't believe the state ought to be in the business of collecting dues for private organizations," Hise said of Senate Bill 3

A similar bill that passed three years ago was struck down by the courts because it targeted just professional educators. Hise's bill aims to get around the problem by outlawing dues checkoffs for all membership organizations. 

Ardis Watkins, a lobbyist for SEANC, said the program isn't costly to the state. 

"This is a matter of a few extra key strokes," Watkins said.

She said SEANC is not merely a private group but a group of state employees who have gathered to advocate for their own interests. 

Funding start-ups

One of the many causalities in the failure to pass an economic development bill last session was an idea put forward by now former Rep. Tom Murry, R-Wake, to allow small investors to crowd-fund start-up companies. 

That idea is back in the form of House Bill 14: Start-Ups Act/New Markets Tax Credit, filed by Rep. Susan Martin, R-Wilson, Rep. Rob Bryan, R-Mecklenburg, Rep. Brian Brown, R-Pitt, and Rep. John Szoka, R-Cumberland.

The measure would allow companies to raise up to $1 million or $2 million, depending on what requirements are met, without registering as a security, provided each investor puts in no more than $2,000. 

The bill could have some big-time backing. Commerce Secretary John Skvarla has mentioned crowd-funding as a measure he thinks should pass this year.

Best of the rest

Other bills filed Wednesday included: 

  • House Bill 8, which would make judicial elections partisan. Currently, those running for courts are not labeled as Republicans or Democrats on the ballot. 
  • House Bill 6, which would define an autocycle. These vehicles are three-wheeled motorcycles on which riders are inside a completely enclosed shell and do not straddle the bike. 
  • Senate Bill 6, which would allow retired teachers to work for schools in temporary roles without limiting their health insurance options.

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  • Mike Wells Jan 30, 2015
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    "A bill tht would have allowed magistrates to refuse to marry same-sex couples"...are all these magristrates Southern Baptist? Do all there dirty deeds during the week and repint on Sunday morning. I do not buy it is there religious belief. If so, why are they not saying something about the prostitutes, murderers, etc., they have to see on a daily/weekly basis. I am just saying...

  • Larry Lynch Jan 30, 2015
    user avatar

    most magistrates are political suck ups who will pander to the local powers that be. it is a shame but that's how the courthouses roll here in nc. I do not address the issue of homosexual "marriage" in my blog.

  • nobodyknow420 Jan 30, 2015

    Wow...I'm just amazed really. We went from gay discrimination to biscuits. I guess we are in the south, so they are directly correlated. Small mind...big guts.

  • itsnotmeiswear Jan 30, 2015

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    Simple matter to set this up as a monthly draft on your checking account. If this passes, these organizations will probably preprint the approval forms from a database and send them to their members for signature. The cost to the state to remove the drafts from the payroll system will be far more than leaving it alone. So in the end, the taxpayer pays more and the organizations still get their money. Government "solves" another problem.

  • Raleigh Rocks 1 Jan 29, 2015

    It was said in prior post....Partisan Judicial Elections = bad idea. Judges should be impartial and not tied to those that donate to campaigns.

    I say thats not true. Thjese judges are smart and opinions ARE based in ideology, so it is VERY important we know where they stand. Do they think they can make laws like dems THINK, or are they there to interpret laws already made.

  • NotLiberal Jan 29, 2015

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    The non partisan elections are a farce. They are partisan, just can't say they are.

    The other organizations you cite are not drafting from state employee's pay checks now.

  • tarheelbythesea Jan 29, 2015

    Four biscuits and four cups of coffee for breakfast? You don't need to sit down, you need to run a couple miles. Although for what it's worth, the convenience store down the road from me has a small seating area with WiFi and a TV. There are typically a couple of cops hanging out there at any given time eating and having coffee. But typically most people go into convenience stores to grab somthing quick and go, not to sit around and stuff their faces with biscuits all morning.

  • Tammy Rush Jan 29, 2015
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  • raleighboy524 Jan 29, 2015

    Love this focus on jobs! GOP is a joke. LOL!

  • Mike Jones Jan 29, 2015
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