Raleigh, N.C. — About 200 bills were filed Thursday as the Senate hit its filing deadline for the 2015 session.
Three key senators rolled out their latest tax reform measure, which would raise the exemption on individual income tax and lower corporate tax rates. Other bills filed would establish a North Carolina state spider, reform the Medicaid insurance program for the poor and disabled and allow concealed guns on the State Fairgrounds. An expected bill on so-called puppy mills never materialized, however.
Most of those bills will go nowhere, but some other bills are progressing through the General Assembly.
The House and the Senate reached a compromise on the state gas tax, which is expected to be approved next week. The tax was supposed to drop to 30 cents per gallon on July 1, but lawmakers agreed to cut it from 37.5 cents to 36 cents per gallon on April 1 and eventually down to 34 cents per gallon by mid-2016.
The deal is a stopgap measure, they said, giving them time to devise a more stable way of funding highway construction and maintenance by 2017. Without the change, the state Department of Transportation would have lost $400 million after the gas tax dropped in July, they said.
The House also gave final approval to a new version of the historic preservation tax credit and approved regulations for autocycles, which are three-wheeled car-motorcycle hybrids.
Outside the chambers, former Republican presidential candidate Rick Santorum stopped by the General Assembly during a Raleigh visit. He recommended that North Carolina not risk losing its nominating convention delegates by moving its 2016 primary too early.