Opinion roundup June 28, 2016: Wind farms, taxes, hunting and farming
Posted June 28
Updated June 30
This time it’s wind farms (Washington Daily News) -- The current General Assembly has made a habit of taking away local governments’ ability to make their own regulations. In the past several years, legislators have made it impossible for local governments to create ordinances controlling fracking research, development and practice; taken away local governments’ ability to levy a business privilege tax, a major source of funding for many municipalities, leaving holes millions of dollars deep in local government budgets; created a law that says no stormwater program in the state can be more restrictive than what’s required by the state; taken away any ability to locally raise minimum wage above the state-mandated $7.25 per hour; removed any ability for cities, counties and towns to make their own ordinances regarding discrimination, and more.
State tax cap a misguided strategy (Wilmington Star-News) -- If you thought HB-2 was a doozy, get ready for HB-3.
Peek at community-college expansion is peek at our future (Winston-Salem Journal) -- Community colleges across North Carolina are preparing the work force so crucial to our future. They do this in myriad ways for myriad ages. For example, they educate conventional-age students to go to work with an associate’s degree or to go on to a four-year institution. They retrain laid-off workers to enter new fields such as biotech. They give high-school students a boost for universities through their Early College programs.
Become a farmer and reap a harvest of hope (Greenville Daily Reflector) -- Public involvement in partnerships like the one between Pitt County Schools and Building Hope Community Life Center that turn school suspensions into an opportunity for students to get on the right path is important for this county’s children and the entire community.
The right to hunt? (Greensboro News & Record) -- A package of proposed state constitutional amendments includes establishing a right to hunt, fish and harvest wildlife.
Hotel tax changes are lawmaking in the dark (Fayetteville Observer) – Legislation to fold up Cumberland County’s Tourism Development Authority and the Convention and Visitors Bureau and direct hotel occupancy taxes directly to the county commissioners is a big deal. It would affect the distribution of several million dollars a year to organizations that run some important programs. Transparency would be useful here. Stonewalling isn't.