Local Politics

Lawmakers tie up loose ends before adjournment

Posted August 6, 2009
Updated August 7, 2009

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— After approving a new budget Wednesday, state lawmakers tried to quickly work through bills remaining on their desks so they could end their extended session.

On Thursday, the House approved a proposal to shore up the Beach Plan, an underfunded coastal insurance pool that regulators have warned was becoming a problem for property owners statewide. The House also extended a tax credit for renewable energy generators.

Meanwhile, the Senate passed bills that would prohibit smoking and cell phones in state prisons and county jails and ban wind turbines from Appalachian ridges.

@NCCapitol Lawmakers look to get out of Raleigh

"It's been an extraordinarily productive session. We've done a lot on public health – the smoking ban, a comprehensive sex education bill – (and) we've done a lot for small business," House Speaker Joe Hackney said.

Other lawmakers disagreed with Hackney, saying more could have been done in the six-plus months the General Assembly has been in session.

"It's things that we've introduced year after year, suggestions that we've made on, hopefully, how to budget better and get ourselves into a situation where we don't find billion-dollar shortfalls," Senate Minority Leader Phil Berger said.

The Senate plans to wrap up its work by Friday, while the House will likely work into next week.

Still, as lawmakers make plans to leave Raleigh, Senate President Pro Tem Marc Basnight said he is considering calling a special session to discuss an overhaul to the state tax code.

In drafting their budget, senators proposed taxing an array of services, from car repairs and appliance installation to manicures and cosmetic surgery, to generate revenue that would allow the state to lower individual and corporate income tax rates.

That idea was later withdrawn in favor of a plan to raise the sales tax rate and add a surcharge to the tax liability of top wage earners and businesses.

"(I'd like to see) if we could find agreements on expanding the tax base, so that we could lower the income tax and the corporate tax for all people in North Carolina, expand the base like they have done in many, many states," Basnight said.

Hackney dismissed the notion of a special session.

"We're not much interested in a session prior to next May, but we'll continue to talk about that," he said.

23 Comments

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  • lkanzig Aug 7, 2009

    get a clue people! the democrats and the republicans all voted for this joke of a budget. SO GET OFF YOUR HIGH AND MIGHTY HORSES! BOTH LOUSY PARTIES ARE RESPONSIBLE!

    gee they worked so hard on that budget, that they need time off. DEAL WITH IT! ITS YOUR JOB THAT YOU WERE ELECTED TO, SO DO IT!

    this state needs a complete overhaul. its nice to know that the completely stupid people in this state have jobs..... they are elected to public office!

  • rand321 Aug 7, 2009

    before overhauling the state tax code, they should first overhaul the structure of state government, when and where money is spent to bring it into the 21st century. then determine what revenue is needed to support and the best way to obtain the revenues.

  • Here kitty kitty Aug 7, 2009

    I don't want to work for 6 months either but I have to to pay for all these stupid tax increases they just put through! by the way I saw M Basnight on tv last night and he didn't look or sound right...has he been ill? Anyone know?

  • romex Aug 7, 2009

    all the dems should be voted out they dont have a back bone just give bev what she wants

  • romex Aug 7, 2009

    why are they not or some body trying to impeach perdue wral has not followed up on the campain funds or on her ceo that is enough to impeach.

  • 3779LRRP Aug 7, 2009

    The insurance plan for the beach house owners is totally wrong. The whole state should NOT have to contribute to their insurance claims. Those houses on the beach are valuable only because of the land they sit on. The HOUSE is no more valuable than a comparable inland house, and could be less. The wind can blow and blow, but it will not blow away the half million dollar lot the house sits on.

  • nufsaid Aug 7, 2009

    The citizens of NC should not get too relaxed yet. The lawmakers haven't pulled out of town yet.

  • Wade Land Aug 7, 2009

    hpr,

    You've been underwriting people's insurance at the beach ever since the Beach Plan came into effect (technically you've always underwritten others insurance though). The way the Beach Plan worked up until yesterday is that if all the money in the Beach Plan was exhausted, then every insurance company that wrote insurance in the state would have to fork over cash to pay the difference. So if your insurance company was Allstate and they had to pay $4,000,000,000 to cover the losses in the Beach Plan, do you not think your homeowner's policy was going to increase??

  • nufsaid Aug 7, 2009

    "Your federal taxes go towards helping people in Florida after a Hurricane, and to New Orleans, and California after Earthquakes and Forrest Fires. I really don't see what people are whining about. If you don't like it, don't buy insurance and make sure you don't burn your home down. MakoII"

    You have a point. Why buy insurance if the Federal Government will bail you out if you have a loss. Everyone knows the government has lots of money. If they run out they can always print more.

  • nufsaid Aug 7, 2009

    "Isn't it THE POINT of Insurance to be covering OTHER people's Homes? MakoII"

    The point of insurance is to cover the policy holder.

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