Today @NCCapitol (July 1): Senate to move tax talks forward

Posted July 1, 2013

— Good morning and welcome to Today @NCCapitol for Monday, July 1. This is WRAL's roundup of what you need to know about North Carolina state government today.

TODAY: Unemployment benefits will end for 71,000 workers today due to a decision earlier this year by lawmakers to revamp how and how much North Carolina provides for unemployed workers. Benefits for the long-term unemployed are due to expire elsewhere in the national at the end of this year unless Congress acts. However, North Carolina's first-in-the-nation status has attracted national and international attention.

FLIPPING THE SWITCH: Ten years after the first contract was awarded to replace North Carolina's outdated Medicaid billing network, a computer claims processing system is finally poised to go online.

On the Record On the Record: Supreme Court on voting rights ON THE RECORD: This weekend's episode of "On the Record" explores recent landmark rulings but the U.S. Supreme Court of voting rights and marriage.

NOBODY HOME: The state House will hold "skeleton" sessions all this week, conducting no formal legislative business until July 8.

SENATE: Gov. Pat McCrory said twice last week he wanted lawmakers to move along with tax reform. The Senate may or may not have taken head of the governor's words, but the chamber is due to roll out another version of tax reform today.

Senators had put their tax reform bill on hold while they negotiated a compromise bill with the House. However, with the House out of town and negotiations not proceeding quickly, Senate Leader Phil Berger said it was time to move ahead. 

"We hope the bill in the Senate Finance Committee on Monday will represent a final agreement," Berger said Friday. "But if not, we’re confident we can work out any remaining differences in conference."

The Senate Finance Committee will meet at 2 p.m. WRAL.com will carry the meeting live. Check the Video Central box on the home page. 

ALSO ON THE SCHEDULE: The House's skeleton session will by at 4 p.m. today. The Senate will meet at 7 p.m. and take up a bill that would both grant food producers immunity from being sued over obesity-related illnesses and prohibit cities from putting regulations in place governing the size of soda sales. WRAL.com will carry the Senate session live at 7 p.m. Please check the Video Central box on the home page. 

MORE PROTESTS: The NAACP and other liberal groups are expected to organize a ninth wave of "Moral Monday" protests today. Thus far, roughly 500 people have been arrested at the legislature during the gatherings that demonstrate objections to the Republican-lead legislature's policies. {{a href="story-3'}}Tonight's event will focus on unemployment benefits{{/a}}.

MORE TO READ: Other stories worth noting include reports from:

The Associated Press: A new conservatism is beginning to emerge on some college campuses, spurred in part by opposition to President Barack Obama's signature health care law.

News & Observer: The emotional debate over fracking spilled over to the N.C. Mining & Energy Commission as the board voted Friday to tell the legislature to stop meddling in its business. Commissioners voted unanimously to protest the state legislature’s move to wrest a controversial fracking rule out of the commission’s hands. The rule – specifying which chemicals pumped underground must be publicly disclosed – is the most contentious issue in every state that allows shale gas drilling.

Charlotte Observer: The waiting room outside Bob Rucho’s Senate office is mostly empty these days. All but gone are the lobbyists and staffers craving a moment of his time. Gone, too, is the crunch of meetings that kept him at the heart of some of the session’s most far-reaching issues – tax overhaul, hospital costs and creation of a Charlotte airport authority.

Now it’s a different world for the Matthews Republican, who until two weeks ago was one of North Carolina’s busiest and most powerful lawmakers. Suddenly, he says, “I have a lot more free time.” Triggering the change was an unusually public clash between the passion of one lawmaker and the pragmatism of others.

Wilmington Star-News: It's not easy being a freshman, whether in high school or your first year in the General Assembly. It's a year chock full of new faces, new rules, new friends and new lessons. Rep. Ted Davis, R-New Hanover, described the experience as "very interesting."


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  • greg69innc Jul 1, 2013

    who care anymore....demonizing the rich isn't the solution. I am sick of it. If you are poor and having a hard time what are you doing to solve the problem. Trust me I am living on unemployment and looking for a job and 200.00 week doesn't allow much for gas to interviews and so forth. I am proactive and will come out of this without bashing the rich and babying the poor either. When you're in the ditch you get yourself out and don't badmouth the folks that haven't gotten there yet

  • Plenty Coups Jul 1, 2013

    mep-"Sounds like stuff everyone should be paying for... not just those nasty "wealthy" people. A sales taxed based taxation system would do just that"

    Actually, we aren't paying for it as well as other states are which is why our educational funding is 48th in the nation. A sales tax would simply be regressive and tax me and most North Carolinians more. In return, we'll get less services like education, mental health, healthcare etc. but the rich will get a big tax break.

  • junkmail5 Jul 1, 2013

    No... the only thing it does is distribute taxation based on a persons spending rather than penalizing a person for their hard work.
    Click to view my profilemep

    On the contrary- it penalizes lower income earners GREATLY.

    Sales taxes on everything subject 100% of the poor persons income to taxation, because they spend 100% of their income just for basic needs like food and shelter.

    While the rich person gets very little of his income taxed in comparison... because one of the reasons he's rich is he does NOT spend all, or even most, of his money.

    Rich people LOVE this system because far LESS of their income is taxed.

    but it's horrible for literally everyone else in the economy.

    Really, this is intro-level econ stuff. Sales taxes in the absence of anything else are horribly regressive.

    The fact I have to keep explaining this elementary stuff to you makes it even funnier you were LOLing at a nobel prize winning economist.

  • mep Jul 1, 2013

    The only thing a pure sales tax does is cut taxes for rich people and raise them a LOT on poor ones.

    This is econ 101.

    No... the only thing it does is distribute taxation based on a persons spending rather than penalizing a person for their hard work.

  • mep Jul 1, 2013

    But it'd make no sense for ME to voluntarily pay more when nobody else is doing so.


    See... selfishness. The root of the problem. Its MY money, and no one can tell me to voluntarily give it up. Apparently money has value to everyone, including junk... poor or wealthy.

    Further, it is not the role of the govt to mandate charitable giving, or wealth redistribution, or economic justice beyond the limits of the law. Junk agrees... they only pay what is required and take full advantage of the tax laws.

    Taxation is to fund govt operations... not act as a safety net or charity.

  • Come On_Seriously Jul 1, 2013

    "Its interesting how the liberal wealthy CLAIM to want to pay more taxes..." More us-they talk, eh?

    Interesting enough that the 'liberals' understand the responsibility of paying taxes and why they are important to everyone. 'They' also understand that not everyone is able to pay the same amount and still put food on the table.

    Unlike 'conservatives' who only think that their great tag-line of personal responsibility applies to themselves and not to society that has helped them get where they are. Without roads to get you to work, water to drink and flush your toilet, police to keep you safe, or teachers to educate your children, you would not be able to do as well as you are (assuming you are employed in this economy).

    So someone who makes just enough to feed their family should pay the same amount as what you pay with 'disposable' income left over? They don't eat and you don't go to the movies as much or buy a new car is fair? Please.

  • junkmail5 Jul 1, 2013

    NY Times Paul Krugman... LOL.
    Click to view my profilemep

    Yeah, all Krugman did was win a nobel prize in economics... he certainly doesn't know NEARLY as much about money and econ as you do... right?

    LOL indeed.

  • junkmail5 Jul 1, 2013

    So take out your flowery little checkbook and write a big fat check to Uncle Pat and another to Auntie Barack and send all that extra money you don't need back! It's really simple. Go ahead, walk the walk! yankee1

    why in the WORLD would I do that?

    The very suggestion demonstrates a gross ignorance of business for one thing.

    I mean, I don't mind paying my legally required taxes.

    I wouldn't even mind if they were higher, because any of us being HONEST would recognize they're unfairly low at the expense of everyone else...

    But it'd make no sense for ME to voluntarily pay more when nobody else is doing so.

    Especially when it's not like it'd actually HELP any of the regular folks being hurt by all this in the first place, since you can't earmark direct overpayments to the treasury.

    A sales taxed based taxation system would do just that-Mep

    The only thing a pure sales tax does is cut taxes for rich people and raise them a LOT on poor ones.

    This is econ 101.

  • Geez Louise Jul 1, 2013

    "And how would you know that?"

    He/she knows that because they done typed it up on the internet so it must be true. :-)

  • davidgnews Jul 1, 2013

    Taking away a mortgage interest deduction is effectively the same a tax increase. Nice how the GOP always lies about 'not raising taxes.'

    They're looking at this again because acting Gov. Pope submitted a 'more moderate budget.' That is, information on how the Koch Bros can help with contributions to reelection campaigns.