Senate passes school suits moratorium, gives Uber legislation tentative nod

Posted July 22, 2015


— The state Senate quickly gave tentative or final approval to nearly a dozen bills Wednesday afternoon. The following are among the measures that got votes:

UBER: Senate Bill 541 would put state regulations for transportation network companies such as Uber and Lyft in place. The bill lays out insurance requirements for the companies and allows airports to regulate where the companies pick up and drop off passengers. Senators gave tentative approval to the bill on a 45-2 vote. They are due to vote against Thursday to send the bill to the House.

CHURCH: House Bill 229 clarifies that churches under construction are exempt from property taxes just as if they were in use. Backers of the bill said rules about taxing such construction projects were not followed evenly across the state. The same bill also allows church services to be one of the places that judges can allow those convicted of drunk driving to go if they are granted a limited driving privilege. The measure cleared the Senate 47-0 and is headed back to the House for concurrence.

SCHOOLS: Senators approved a bill 35-12 that would prohibit school districts from suing their county commissioners for more funding.

"I've heard from three school systems throughout this state, and they're concerned," Sen. Joyce Waddell, D-Mecklenburg, said.

Waddell offered an amendment to roll back the provision, which was added to the bill Tuesday.

"So, what you're saying is you're putting back in place the ability of school boards to sue the county commissioners?" Sen. Tommy Tucker, R-Union, asked Waddell, who confirmed that was the case.

Tucker said such lawsuits waste money and are geared toward an earlier era when the state didn't provide basic funding for education. He pointed to a recent tussle in Union County.

"All it did was make a Raleigh attorney very well off," Tucker said.

Senators voted down Waddell's amendment 16-30.

The measure will now go back to the House, where members will vote either to send it on to the governor or enter negotiations over the changes with the Senate.


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