Local Politics

Feb. 19 General Assembly Bill Filings

Posted February 19, 2007

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— It’s a slow Monday in the General Assembly when it comes to bill filing, but there are a few that are worth noting.

In the House, the highlights include charter schools, a big tax break for some North Carolinians and recalling a publicly elected official.

H246: The act would change the constitution of North Carolina to allow for a recall election for any office established in the constitution. In order for the recall election to go forward, 25 percent of the registered voters in the area must sign a petition asking for a special vote.

H239: Much like a bill filed last week, this act gives a break to public servants. Under the bill, registered emergency service personnel are eligible for a special, in-state tax deduction, depending on the length of service. People who’ve worked in the field for three years or less would get a $3,000 reduction. Those with four or more years of experience would get a $4,000 tax break.

H236: With a battle brewing over whether to raise the cap on the number of charter schools, this bill goes after low-performing charters. As written, if a charter school fails to meet expected growth under the state’s ABCs of Education, the school would go on probation. If it once again fails to reach the benchmark set by the state for the next two years, the charter gets revoked.

In the Senate, members are going after an increasing crime problem, as well as addressing teacher work days.

S201: Copper thieves beware. This senate bill ups the penalty for stealing and reselling copper. It also puts new guidelines in place for any business that buys recycled copper. Counties all over the state are dealing with a rising number of copper thefts from construction sites, old homes and even power lines.

S196: This bill makes it much clearer as to which sexual offenders in our state should be monitored by Global Positioning System satellites. Under the bill, sex offenders who are repeat offenders, those who assault children and those who commit a sex crime with aggravating factors would all be equipped with a GPS ankle bracelet.

S191: If passed, this bill would keep teachers in the classroom for five more days per school year. Currently, teachers are required to work 195 days per year. This bill would bump that number up to 200. To make room for the extra five days, local school boards would be required to lengthen their current school calendars by five days per year.
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