Raleigh, N.C. — House lawmakers are scheduled to vote Wednesday on a bill that would require the state sock away 15 percent of new tax revenue into savings every year.
House Bill 7 is championed by Rep. Nelson Dollar, R-Wake, and Sen. Brent Jackson, R-Duplin, the top budget writers in the House and the Senate.
The bill has gathered bipartisan support and has been hailed by conservative nonprofits such as Americans for Prosperity. Should the measure clear the House, it will be only the second piece of substantive legislation to clear either chamber this year.
Eminent domain: The House Judiciary I Committee is expected to debate a bill putting limits on when the government can use eminent domain, the power to take private land. Under the bill, land taken through eminent domain could be used only for a public purpose, such as building roads and schools. Using the power for economic development would be prohibited. While the measure has cleared the House several times in the past decade, senators have been reluctant to approve the measure.
Rules: Don't look for any floor votes on the Senate side of the legislative building. The most interesting action in the chamber may come in the Senate Rules Committee, which will test out its new role as final committee stop for all bills headed to the floor. The bill reducing the number of members serving on the UNC Board of Governors will get a final Senate committee check.
Bill filings: Notable proposals among Tuesday's bill filings included a constitutional amendment to lower the cap on the state's income tax rate from 10 percent to 5.5 percent and bills pushing for the ratification of the Equal Rights Amendment, which the state rejected back in 1972. Fayetteville would become home to the state's official fried chicken festival under House Bill 96, and House Bill 100 would make Superior Court and District Court elections partisan again.
Sen. Bill Cook, R-Beaufort, and Sen. Norm Sanderson, R-Pamlico, filed Senate Bill 77, which would make violating the state's open meetings and open records laws a Class 3 misdemeanor. Cook said that he had constituents complain about problems with getting records and access to meetings, but he did not have a specific case in mind.
"I've just seen too many cases where the public is not being given a chance to see what's going on," Cook said. "Sometimes, you have a law for a while, and people forget about it. I want to remind them."
Program Notes: Today@NCCapitol will publish most mornings the legislature is in session with a look ahead for that day's activities. Look for TheWrap@NCCapitol, a video recap of legislative business, at the conclusion of most legislative days.