Raleigh, N.C. — Good morning and welcome to Today @NCCapitol for Wednesday, June 19. This is WRAL's roundup of what you need to know about North Carolina state government today.
FIRST UP: The House Finance Committee is scheduled to meet at 8:30 a.m. this morning. It will consider the bill transferring control of the Charlotte airport to a new regional authority and discuss a constitutional amendment that would limit the growth of government based on population growth and inflation. The committee also takes up a bill to allow for small, lightly regulated investments in start-up companies.
TAXES: House and Senate lawmakers split off into a number of closed door meetings Tuesday afternoon as they worked toward crafting a deal on a tax package. The Senate had been scheduled to give its final blessing to a deal that would have curtailed revenue growth by some $4 billion over the next four years by cutting income tax rates. Unlike others plans, including those put forward by the House and prior Senate proposals, it would not have extended the state sales tax but it did potentially tax Social Security income.
"It probably would be more productive if the specifics of those conversations remained between us, the House and the governor," said Senate Leader Phil Berger, R-Rockingham.
House Speaker Thom Tillis was less circumspect about the negotiations, saying that House Republicans did not favor the Senate provisions regarding Social Security and were concerned that tax shifts would force local governments to raise property taxes. Also, he said, while both House and Senate plans would slow the growth of government, House leaders worried that the Senate cut too much too fast.
The Wrap @NCCapitol (June 18) "We need to do it at a pace we can absorb and be sure of," Tillis said.
WRAP: Capitol Bureau Chief Laura Leslie and reporter Mark Binker review Tuesday's news at the General Assembly, including late breaking tax discussions and a dust-up over a Durham development, in The Wrap @NCCapitol.
HOUSE TODAY: The state House meets at 2 p.m. Bills on the calendar include a measure to allow DOT to raise some speed limits to 75 m.p.h. and a final vote on Gov. Pat McCrory's transportation funding plan, which concentrates more dollars on projects of statewide and regional importance.
SENATE TODAY: The state Senate meets at 2 p.m. Bills on the calendar includes a measure that increases the penalties for drivers who pass a school bus with its stop-arm extended and a bill that rolls back energy efficient building standards for commercial projects. House Bill 998, the tax reform bill, is still on the calendar as well.
WRAL.com will carry the House session live UNLESS House and Senate leaders announce a deal on the tax reform measure that will be debated on the Senate floor today. Check the Video Central box on the home page for the stream.
MCCRORY: Gov. Pat McCrory will meet with his Education Cabinet at 1 p.m. today at the Commerce Department.
COMMITTEES: For a complete list of committee hearings, check the main @NCCapitol page. Among the highlights.
Senate Education (10 a.m. | 544 LOB): The committee will hear a bill designed to quickly certify members of the military to teach in classrooms. They will also discuss a measure that would give students with disabilities publicly-funded scholarships to attend private school. WRAL.com will carry the meeting live. Check the Video Central box on the home page.
Senate Health (11 a.m. | 544 LOB): The committee is expected to take up an as-yet unannounced proposed committee substitute for a state symbols bill. WRAL.com will carry the meeting live. Check the Video Central box on the home page.
Senate Finance (1 p.m. | 544 LOB): The committee takes up a measure to clear the way for mega-dumps.
NEWS: Stories we were following Tuesday included:
DURHAM: A protracted fight over the fate of the 751 South development in Durham is once again before the legislature and once again creating strange bedfellows and roiling old animosities. Rep. Tim Moore, R-Cleveland, is the chairman of the House Rules Committee. It is also much discussed among his colleagues that Moore was the college roommate of Cal Cunningham, a one-time Democratic candidate for U.S. Senate who is a lawyer representing the project. Rep. Julia Howard, R-Davie, is a co-chair of the powerful Finance Committee and has recently tangled with fellow leaders, including Moore, over tax reform measures. The two publicly battled over the fate of the measure Tuesday. Howard's position won and there will be a public hearing on the measure Monday at 4 p.m.
SPEED: The state House could vote Wednesday on a proposal that would allow the state Department of Transportation to raise the speed limit on some highways to 75 mph. The current maximum speed on North Carolina highways is 70 mph, but bill backers want to allow the DOT to raise it to 75 mph on highways that are engineered to be safe at that speed.
DOMESTIC VIOLENCE: A bill that would allow for GPS monitoring of those accused of domestic violence faced questions in the Senate Judiciary II Committee Tuesday over cost and its constitutionality. Senators did not vote on the bill but peppered its sponsor with questions. The measure would allow judges to require someone subject to a domestic violence protective order to wear an ankle bracelet. That bracelet would then be monitored to ensure the individual didn't enter an "exclusion zone" around his or her victim's house, school or workplace.
MORE STORIES: News from other outlets worth noting include:
Associated Press: The General Assembly gave final approval Monday night to legislation that mandates a ballot question include wording that approved borrowing will include paying interest in addition to the debt principal. The question also must state that additional taxes may be levied to pay for the debt and interest.
N.C. Health News: A law winding its way through the General Assembly would make it impossible to hold food manufacturers liable in cases of obesity.
Wilmington Star-News: Calling his removal unconstitutional, former New Hanover County Commissioner Brian Berger has filed a court appeal asking to be reinstated to the county board. Berger was removed from the board May 20 following an amotion hearing. Commissioners voted 3-2 to oust him, with Berger and Commissioner Jonathan Barfield voting against the move.